Roundtable Group
The Blue Lepidote Project

Rhododendron augustinii
Picture by S & J Perkins
Rhododendron augustinii in Westport Point, MA

The Massachusetts Chapter's Roundtable Group developed a project that is both a learning tool and a serious hybridizing effort. For years members have complained that the zone 5 hardy lepidotes that were touted as being blue were not really blue or were not really hardy in the unreliable snow cover of a New England winter. A project was proposed by member George Silverman to use this breeding goal as an example of  how to develop a breeding program.

Current lepidote hybrids that were either very hardy or very blue were discussed in the group including topics and lively discussions on:

  • Previous hybridizers efforts (success and failure)
  • Potential new species to add to the old hybridizing efforts.
  • Potential seed parents and potential pollen parents
  • Problems with sterility and different bloom times
  • Problems with cleistogamy and pollen receptivity

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