R. amundsenianum

Here’s a brand new rhododendron from southern Sichuan in China. It will probably be placed in Subsection Lapponica. This is the largest grouping of lepidotes (plants with scales), most of which are dwarfs with small leaves. This one seems to bloom easily. The blue is a real winner, glowing warmly and intensely.

Being an alpine, this rhododendron will like a bright spot but not a hot spot. It wants good drainage with consistent gentle watering and small amounts of fertilizer on Valentine’s Day and Mothers’ Day. We are guessing that it will reach four feet in ten years. It seems to respond to pinching by sending out multiple stems, so a judicious pinch of the new growth will yield a bushier shrub, keeping it from getting leggy. Being an alpine, it has been hardy here in the Pacific Northwest so far, and we expect that to continue.