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Rhododendron 'Delta Dawn'

December 2019

     There are a few new hybrids that I would consider undiscovered superstars.  When we discover one, we nourish and fuss over a new crop.  We grow them up into perfect little landscape size plants and wait for the people to notice.  Delta Dawn is one of these superstars!  Don can be incredibly modest when it comes to his hybridizing work but those of us working beside him see beauty worth bragging about!  Delta Dawn is one of Don's hybrids.  It has darling, delicate, tinkerbell trusses and incredible foliage but what really pushes it ahead of the rest is its perfect rounded form and laid back nature.  Delta Dawn has the shape that people need for easy landscaping and is fairly fuss free as far as rhododendrons are concerned.  It will not need constant pruning, it will not grow leggy bare spots and it WILL be darling in your front yard.

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Wed, 12/11/2019 - 13:22 -- Sarah

     The flowers are lovely on Delta Dawn and that certainly is everyone's first question.  The are light, creamy yellow with red speckles in the throat.  The trusses are loosely grouped little bell shaped flowers.  They are sweet and will be noticed but they don't necessarily steal the show.  They can mix well with any number of different color combinations or layered garden design.

     Of course flowers are important but the foliage, form and ease of care are the things that ring in a winner.  When the flowers fade and fall, Delta Dawn pushes the new leaves and that is where they start to steal the show.  The new growth is soft and fuzzy and a coppery, tan color.  This is prized feature handed down from R. pachysanthum.  The parents of R. 'Delta Dawn' are R. pachysanthum X R. Fabur.

Over time the top of the leaf will loose its fuzziness and become a dark, matte green, while the underside will keep a rich, brown indumentum all year long.

Here is a 3 gallon Delta Dawn that has been dug from the field and wrapped to go to shipping:

     What makes this an excellent plant for landscaping is the neat, even shape that stays nicely filled in.  If planted in a raised up, well draining area with lots of shredded bark, Delta Dawn will not need a whole heck of  lot of your attention.  There are some rhododendrons that are desired by collectors for one reason or another and they need LOTS of attention and special care.  Delta Dawn has all of the beauty of the collector's item but none of the fuss.  I think we will see these popping into landscapes all around us over the next few years.  I imagine them planted in a sweet little line in front of your house or office building.  They would be wonderful in a group, making a larger display in a layered landscape.  This is one to keep an eye on.  I'm sure you will love it as much as we do!

 

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