Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Rhododendron x gandavense ‘Amoenissima’

A cultivar of Rhododendron x gandavense Rehder, ‘Amoenissima’, an old Ghent hybrid, probably very similar to Rhododendron obtusum Planch. var. amoenum Wils., a plant long cultivated in Japan, with magenta flowers, usually double.  The Kurume hybrids are derived from this plant.  [RHSD, Hortus, Hilliers', Millais].  Azalea amoenissima may be a ‘more beautiful’ (amoenissimum) azalea, similar to the ‘beautiful’ amoenum but this is by no means certain.

Horticultural & Botanical History

Known by the collective name Rhododendron x gandavense, Ghent hybrids are crosses between Rhododendron calendulaceum, the ‘Flame azalea’, R. nudiflorum, ‘Pinxterbloom azalea’, R. flavus, ‘Pontic azalea’, R. viscosum, ‘Swamp azalea’ plus others, predominantly North American species.  They are very hardy, upright, tall azaleas which bloom late-or mid-late-season, flowers 4cm to 5.5cm wide, with a long tube, usually fragrant.  They originated mainly in Belgium between 1830 and 1850.  [RHSD].  

History at Camden Park

Listed only in an addendum to the 1857 catalogue [A.9/1857].  Azalea hybridae-belgiquae amoenissima is listed in both the 1830 and 1836 editions of Loddiges’ Nursery catalogue, copies of which are held at Camden Park [CPA].


Azalea nudiflorum amoena is listed in the 1836 edition of Loddiges’ nursery catalogue, a copy of which is held at Camden Park [CPA].  This is unlikely to be Macarthur’s plant.

Published Jan 16, 2009 - 01:01 PM | Last updated Sep 29, 2011 - 05:28 PM

The image depicts a double azalea with magenta flowers.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.4728, 1853.

Rhododendron obtusum Planch. var. amoenum Wils. | BM t.4728/1853 | BHL.  Azalea amoenissima probably looks something like this plant. 


Family Ericaceae
Region of origin

Garden origin, Belgium

  • Azalea hybridae-belgiquae amoenissima [Lodd.]
  • Azalea x gandavense K.Koch var. amoenissima


Common Name

Ghent hybrid

Name in the Camden Park Record

Azalea amoenissima 


Confidence level high