Rhododendron calendulaceum (Michx.) Torr. var. cuprea
Possibly a cultivar of Rhododendron calendulaceum (Michx.) Torr. but more likely to be a naturally occurring variety and treated as such here. Figured in Loddiges’ Botanical Cabinet as Azalea calendulacea cuprea it has copper-coloured flowers: ‘This is a native of North America, first introduced by Mr. Lyon, in 1806. It is perfectly hardy, forming a large bushy shrub, flowering in May and June. It may be increased by layers, which require two years at least to make sufficient roots. It should be planted in a border, in half loam and half peat soil. How admirable is the beauty of these flowers! how bountiful the Almighty Hand which formed them!’ [LBC no.1394/1829]. The Botanical Register figures Azalea calendulacea var. subcuprea, the ‘Copper-coloured Highclere azalea’, which, although somewhat similar to Loddiges’ plant, is probably distinct. This Folio includes a long dissertation on the Highclere azaleas by the hybridizer, Mr. Gowen, with a long list of resulting named varieties. [BR f.1366/1830].
Horticultural & Botanical History
History at Camden Park
Probably not long lived in the gardens as it is only listed in the 1845 catalogue.
Identification of this azalea is uncertain, see also Rhododendron x gandavensis ‘Cuprea Grandiflora’.
Rhododendron ponticum var. cuprea also has copper-coloured flowers [Millais] but this is a very unlikely identification.
Published Jun 09, 2009 - 05:04 PM | Last updated Sep 11, 2011 - 03:11 PM