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Creech introduction

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  • ray head
    Is anyone familiar with the Creech azalea that he brought from Japan to use as a foliage plant? It rarely ever blooms but has beautiful foliage and plant
    Message 1 of 3 , Mar 30, 2006
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      Is anyone familiar with the Creech azalea that he
      brought from Japan to use as a foliage plant? It
      rarely ever blooms but has beautiful foliage and plant
      habit. Is it a selection of a species or a hybrid? Ray
      Head

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    • Bob Stelloh
      At 5:03 AM -0800 on 3/30/06, ray head wrote ... I can t answer your question, but I can possibly add some confusion. We have a plant labeled Creech #3 that
      Message 2 of 3 , Mar 31, 2006
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        At 5:03 AM -0800 on 3/30/06, ray head wrote
        >Is anyone familiar with the Creech azalea that he
        >brought from Japan to use as a foliage plant? It
        >rarely ever blooms but has beautiful foliage and plant
        >habit. Is it a selection of a species or a hybrid? Ray
        >Head

        I can't answer your question, but I can possibly add some confusion.

        We have a plant labeled "Creech #3" that seems to fit your
        description. Either we got it in 1989 from Pete Vines in northern
        Virginia, or we got it in 2003 from Brian Upchurch who got it from
        Dr. Creech's garden (the plant tag, size, age and my records indicate
        the former, while my memory and notes on the pictures indicate the
        latter). In any case, the plant is 2'x4', mounded, dense, with tiny
        foliage around 1/2''-3/4'' long x 1/4" wide. You can see a picture of
        the flower at http://www.pbase.com/azaleasociety/image/53355522 and
        click "next" for a picture of the plant. The one flower it had in
        2005 is at around 10 o'clock on the plant picture.

        It seems to be very similar to the better-known 'Saotome', which also
        has small very nice leaves and almost never blooms. We have two
        plants labeled 'Saotome'. One has never bloomed since we got it in
        1986 from Gordon Severe in Delaware, and one blooms fairly
        consistently on one branch, which also seems to have slightly larger
        leaves (we got that plant in 1990 but I've lost track of where we got
        it). See the flowers at
        http://www.pbase.com/azaleasociety/image/17087089 , and click "next"
        for a leaf closeup, and "next" again for a picture of the plant.

        'Saotome' is the name of a Kurume, synonym 'Peachblossom', with
        flowers described as "1-1/4'' wide, light purplish pink". It is also
        the name of a Hirado, flowers described as "reddish purple",
        introduced by Creech in 1963. But the Hirado hybrids are generally
        described as vigorous to 8 feet high, with large coarse foliage, so I
        would guess our 'Saotome' is the Kurume.

        So, one *could* put all that together to assert that the Creech
        foliage plant is at least like a Kurume hybrid.

        Regards,
        Bob Stelloh Hendersonville NC USDA Zone 7
      • Bob Stelloh
        At 5:03 AM -0800 on 3/30/06, ray head wrote ... To reduce the confusion a little, Denise says our Creech #3 in fact came from Pete Vines in 1989. The Creech
        Message 3 of 3 , Mar 31, 2006
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          At 5:03 AM -0800 on 3/30/06, ray head wrote
          >Is anyone familiar with the Creech azalea that he
          >brought from Japan to use as a foliage plant? It
          >rarely ever blooms but has beautiful foliage and plant
          >habit. Is it a selection of a species or a hybrid? Ray
          >Head

          To reduce the confusion a little, Denise says our "Creech #3" in fact
          came from Pete Vines in 1989. The Creech plant from Brian Upchurch
          did come from Brian, and Brian did get it from the Creech garden. But
          it was in the Southeastern Chapter-ARS silent plant auction in spring
          2002. There, the description says "Rhododendron indicum (Creech) -
          small leaf, good winter leaf color, from Dr. Creech garden, may be R.
          'Saotome', will be more dense in full sun (this was in a shaded
          greenhouse)."

          We didn't bid on it because we already had one. So my memory was
          close, but it didn't apply to our Creech plant. And I think the
          "Rhododendron indicum (Creech)" name may have been more salesy than
          accurate.

          My records as SE-ARS treasurer at the time show the Wagner's bought
          it, so you could probably see that very plant in their garden.

          Regards,
          Bob Stelloh Hendersonville NC USDA Zone 7
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