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Rhododendron yakushimanum (degronianum) ssp. yakushimanum 'Koichiro Wada'. This somewhat rare rhododendron comes from one island in Japan, Yakushima Island. In the 1930's, a Japanese nurseryman by the name of Koichiro Wada sent his finest selection of this species to Lionel de Rothchild in England. Mr. Rothchild of Exbury in Cornwall was the most knowledgeable rhododendron expert at that time. The plant has very shiny dark-green leaves that curve downwards on the edges on a very compact plant. There is a thick coating of orange/brown indumentum on the undersides of the leaves and resembles suede. This is thought to be a 'natural insect proofing'. The flowers come out light pink, but quickly turn to pure white. Most often the flowers are so abundant, the foliage is completely hidden. This plant is a must for the serious rhododendron collector.