Rhododendron indicum ‘Smithii’
A cultivar of Rhododendron indicum Sweet. ‘This beautiful hybrid was raised a few years ago from seed produced by A. ledifolia (synonym A. phoenicea), impregnated with the pollen of Azalea indica by Mr. Smith, of Coombe Wood, Kingston.’ A stout shrub, the stems covered with brown hairs, its flowers are bright rose, spotted with bright red in the upper segments. [MB p.102/1834, and MB p.145/1835]. Galle. Azalea ledifolia is a form of Rhododendron indicum.
Horticultural & Botanical History
For more information on Indica Azaleas see Rhododendron indicum Sweet.
History at Camden Park
Listed in the 1850 and 1857 catalogues [T.116/1850]. Desideratum to Loddiges’ Nursery, 6th January 1845 [MP A2933-2, p.28] and 13th February, 1848 [MP A2933-1, p.172]. It seems likely that Smithii was received as it is not amongst those notated ‘died’. Azalea indica smithii is listed in the 1836 edition of Loddiges’ Nursery catalogue, a copy of which is held at Camden Park. It is marked with a ‘c’, indicating grown at Camden, although it has been crossed through, the meaning of which is unclear.
Don describes Azalea Smithii as having many-flowered corymbs in shades of rosy-purple, approaching crimson, elegantly spotted with black. This is a hybrid of Rhododendron ponticum x R. arboreum also raised by Smith, but is clearly a different plant.
Published Jun 07, 2009 - 09:19 AM | Last updated Sep 12, 2011 - 03:08 PM