Species Study Group

Rhododendron myrtifolium
Picture by S & J Perkins
Rhododendron myrtifolium in Salem, NH

The Massachusetts Chapter's Species Study Group provides chapter members the opportunity to learn about the more than 800 different rhododendron species. The group concentrates on how to identify, obtain. and grow those rhododendron species that are hardy in New England. Several chapter members such as Powell Huie (Zone 7), Henry and Barbara Wrightington (Zone 6), and Dick and Jane Brooks (Zone 5) have substantial collections of species rhododendrons growing in their gardens.

In an attempt to record what species of rhododendron are being grown by chapter members, the Species Study Group places Species in Our Midst survey articles in the Chapter Newsletter. The results of these surveys have been categorized in a booklet which is now available.

A few members of the group grow species rhododendrons from seed . Extra seedlings have been distributed at group meetings. Cuttings of species are exchanged freely especially those that have been brought to illustrate characteristics specific to that species. Other highlights are the excellent slides of rhododendron species that Dick Brooks brings to nearly every meeting. The group has rented the ARS's collection of species slides for further study.

The Species Study Group meets in chapter members homes providing the opportunity to socialize and explore members gardens before the only slightly more organized discussion begins.

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