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6881Re: [AZ] Rhododendron albiflorum - Cascades Azalea

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  • Bob Dunning
    Jan 1, 2007
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      There is no reason to exclude albiflorum from the azaleas, no more than many of the other recognized azaleas.

      According to Davidian, albiflorum grows very well in Scotland.  I have seen healthy seedlings at the RSF, which promptly stop growing when placed in the ground.  Here, at lower altitudes in its native range it does not prosper.

      Maybe that's another case of the native vermin (as in the potato blight) not being found in a pioneer land.  We do not know the various soil organisms nearly as well as we should.  It seems likely that micro-varmints are also the source of the problem with growing occidentale on the east coast.  Anyone want to try building a sterile greenhouse for the experiment?

      Maybe we just need to add something to the soil to selectively inhibit the bad bugs?  Maybe polonium would work?
      Bob Dunning

      Mike Creel wrote:

      I think the Cascades Azalea is quite beautiful in
      blooom though I have only seen photos sent by friends
      (like Hank Helm near Seattle) of the plants in the
      wild. The drying leaves have a wonderful spicy
      fragrance. It probably falls between azaleas and
      rhododendrons somewhere, being more akin to something
      foreign to the US.

      Besides the albiflorum populations in Washington
      State, the species goes north into Canada and there is
      an under-investigated population in Colorado I
      believe, referred to as subspecis Warrenii. I think
      it also crosses the border into Montana, but no one
      has explored the rugged area there. America still has
      more exciting possibilities for plant exploration,
      particularly for different races within a species.

      Since around 2000 I have been attempting to grow the
      Cascades azalea from seeds and cuttings with some
      failures, some near-misses and some more recent
      results that seem successful. Cuttings I stuck in
      2006 in my dome pots still look good outside. I have
      learned that you must treat as a wild plant, no garden
      pampering. Let me go plant a few more seed. They
      seem to like cold-weather planting.

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