Native Rhododendron Collection at Jenkins

Rhododendron flammeum ‘Salmon Sunset’


Below is a snapshot of the Arboretum’s native rhododendron collection as of September 2020.  An asterisk before the plant name means that the plant is in the pipeline – we have either rooted cuttings or potted plants growing on in our nursery, but not in the ground.  An asterisk after the plant name means that the name listed is an unregistered, “working” name.

Alabama Azalea (Rhododendron alabamense)

  • *’Alabama Snowballs’ is a ball truss selection made by Vivian Abney.
  • *’Big Chill’* Is a Clarence Towe selection.
  • *‘Catherine’ is noted for its larger than normal flowers.
  • *’Coleman’s Sunshine Yellow’* has fragrant, bright yellow flowers.  It may be a hybrid with R. austrinum, but lacks the vigor of austrinum.
  • *’Double White’* A double-flowered form.  Probably with other genes mixed in.
  • ‘Frosty’ (syn. ‘Terry Greer’) is a foliage selection w/small, somewhat glaucous leaves that have a white, powder like appearance on the undersides.
  • ‘Mary Brooke’ is a very nice, pale yellow selection
  • ‘Pete McNees’ is a selection that exhibits some double flowers.

Sweet Azalea (Rhododendron arborescens)

  • *’Dwarf Arborescens’* is a dwarf/compact selection made by Clarence Towe
  • *’Georgia Belle’ is a selection made by Clarence Towe for its large, leathery, dark green leaves, late flowering, and general vigor.
  • Var. georgiana is a late blooming, southern form that blooms with R. prunifolium.
  • *Var. richardsonii.  Is a variety that grows at high elevations.  At those elevations, it is smaller/more compact.
  • ‘White Lightning’ is a dense, compact selection with exceptional fragrance discovered near Franklin, NC by Clarence Towe.  Possibly a natural hybrid.

Coast Azalea (Rhododendron atlanticum)

  • ‘Baby Blues’* is a Jenkins Arboretum selection with very small, bluish leaves.  
  • *’Double White’* is a double flowering selection found growing wild in North Carolina by Allen Cantrell.
  • *‘Earl’s Atlanticum’ is a selection made by Earl Sommerville for its good, blueish foliage and slight pink flowers.
  • *’Fragrant Star’ is a selection created by Briggs Nursery by chemically treating R. atlanticum ‘Snowbird’ resulting in thishighly fragrant octoploid.
  • *’Pistil’* is a Henry Skinner selection with compact ball trusses of small, contorted petals with long pistils.  It is not particularly pretty, but more of a curiosity
  • ‘Plyler’s Paintbrush’* is a Jenkins Arboretum selection with dark-pink-tipped buds and white petals.  Selected from the fields of Jim Plyler.
  • *’Snowbird’ is a fragrant selection from the gardens at the Biltmore Estate.  The flowers are white with a hint of pink in the tubes and pistils.
  • *’Strap Pink’* is a strap-petal selection found growing wild in North Carolina by Allen Cantrell.
  • ‘Tappahanna Mist’ is a compact selection found by Jim Plyler growing near the Tappahanna River in Delaware.
  • ‘Winnie-B’ is a very nice, pink-flowering selection found by Ray Head.
  • *‘Yellow Delight’ A Beasley selection with large yellow, fragrant flowers.  It is likely a hybrid with R. austrinum.

Florida Flame Azalea (Rhododendron austrinum)

  • ‘Apricot’ is an apricot-colored selection made by Superior Trees in Florida. 
  • ‘Chipola River’ is a yellow selection discovered on the Chipola River in Florida by Kelly Strickland.
  • ‘Colleen-O’ is a yellow-flowering, compact form selected by Earl Sommerville.
  • *’Double Yellow Orange’* is a double-flowered selection by Earl Sommerville.
  • ‘Harrison’s Red’ is a unique, coral colored selection discovered by Falling Waters Nursery in Chipley, Florida.
  • ‘Kate’ is a very heavy blooming selection made by Earl Sommerville.  It has a darker orange color than most. 
  • ‘Lemon Ice’* was selected by Jim Plyler of Natural Landscapes Nursery and named by Jenkins Arboretum for its light yellow flowers. 
  • *‘Mac’s Millie’* The inverse of ‘Millie Mac’, petals are white with orange picotee margins.  This was selected by Floyd McConnell (who discovered ‘Millie Mac’) from a batch of seedlings of ‘Millie Mac’.
  • ‘Millie Mac’ is noted for its unusual, gold picotee flowers with a thin white margin.  It was discovered by Floyd McConnell as a limb sport on a wild growing plant in Escambia County, Alabama.  There is some debate as to its lineage with some believing it has some R. canescens genes. 
  • ‘Moonbeam’ is an early blooming, yellow flowering selection made by Kelly Strickland. It is an outstanding, vigorous plant.
  • ‘Pink Tetraploid’ is a pink flowering selection discovered by Ron Miller on the Yellow River in Florida.  This population of pink azaleas might one day be considered a new species.
  • ‘Reagan’ is a selection noted for its darker red coloration.  It was selected by Superior Trees in Florida and named for a family member.
  • *‘Ruffled Gold’ is a Vivian Abney selection with bright ruffled gold flowers.
  • ‘Super Truss Pink’ is a selection with robust, large-trussed, creamy pink flowers.
  • ‘Yellow River’ is a yellow flowering form found growing wild along the Yellow River in Alabama by Kelly Strickland.  
  • ‘Tomato Soup’* is a dark orange, nearly red selection made by Jenkins Arboretum
  • ‘Dryocampa’* is a Jenkins Arboretum selection with yellow petals and pink tubes.  Its name is the genus of the rosy maple moth, an insect that shares its color combination.

Flame Azalea (Rhododendron calendulaceum)

  • ‘Currahee’ is a selection with striped, red and yellow buds that open to orange flowers with rosy pink margins.
  • *’Mandarin Red’ is a selection with intense orange-red flowers
  • ‘Marmalade’* is a Jenkins Arboretum selection with orange flowers and dark orange accents
  • *‘Big Bird’* is a Don Hyatt/George McLellan selection found on Roan Mountain near Jane Bald.  It is a clear yellow with the top petal frilled and overlaid with gold
  • ‘Serenity Yellow’ is a yellow flowered selection made by Jim Gears.

Rhodora (Rhododendron canadense)

  • ‘Alba’ is a white flowering form

Piedmont Azalea (Rhododendron canescens)

  • ‘Babydoll’* is a Jenkins Arboretum selection named for its light pink, frilled petals.  Typically grows with ball trusses.
  • ‘Candy Striper’ is an outstanding selection made by Vivian Abney from the fields of Jim Plyler.  It has pink flowers with a light pink strip down the middle of each petal. 
  • ‘Chocolate Drop’ is an unusual, foliage selection of R. canescens made by Ernest Koone.  The new leaves of this selection are bright chocolate red and the flowers are white.  The leaves fade to green as the season goes on.
  • ‘Clyo Red’ is a dark reddish-pink selection of R. canescens discovered by Woodlanders Nursery.  There is a possibility that it has some R. flammeum genes in it.
  • *‘Double Pink’* is a double flowered selection made by Allen Cantrell.  It was found growing wild in Alabama.
  • *’Glenda’s Spider’ is a very thin, strap-petaled selection made by Hubert and Glenda Jones from a wild growing plant.
  • ‘Peppermint Pink’* is a Jenkins Arboretum selection named for its exceptional pink flowers with light stripe.  This plant looks very similar to ‘Candy Striper’.
  • *’Strap Petal’* is an unnamed, light pink, split-petal selection made by Allen Cantrell.
  • ‘Summer Lynn’ is a bright pink selection made by Superior Trees.
  • ‘Varnadoe’s Dark Pink is a dark pink selection made by Aaron Varnadoe.
  • ‘Varnadoe’s Phlox Pink’ is a Varnadoe selection with abundant pink flowers and good growth habit and foliage.
  • ‘Watermelon’ is a gorgeous watermelon pink selection made by Superior Trees.

Catawba Rhododendron (Rhododendron catawbiense)

  • ‘Boursalt’ is a bright purple form 

Chapman’s Rhododendron (Rhododendron chapmanii)

  • No named selections at this time

Red Hills Azalea (Rhododendron colemanii)

  • ‘Flat Creek Tetraploid’ is a white selection made by Ron Miller in Monroe, Co. Alabama.  It blooms slightly later than the others and has exceptionally large flowers that can be around 3” wide.

Cumberland Azalea (Rhododendron cumberlandense)

  • *‘Sunlight’ is a Polly Hill selection with an exhilarating mixture of orange, rose, and old gold.

May White Azalea (Rhododendron eastmanii)

  • No named selections at this time

 Oconee Azalea (Rhododendron flammeum)

  • ‘Bill Curry’ is a red selection made by Kelly Strickland.
  • ‘Cream Yellow’ is a selection noted for its yellow flowers.
  • ‘Double Pleasure’ is a selection noted for its orange-red flowers, some of which are double.  
  • ‘Elberta’ is a selection noted for its nice peach-colored flowers.
  • ‘Florence’ is a robust selection with bright orange flowers with a yellow blotch.  It was selected by Charles Webb of Superior Trees.
  • ‘Jack Melton’ is a vivid red cultivar discovered in central Georgia by Earl Sommerville.  It blooms with ball trusses.
  • ‘Jake’s Red’ is a dwarf selection (3-4’) made by Earl Sommerville. The flowers are light red and form ball trusses.
  • ‘Magenta Rose Flame’ is a selection made by Earl Sommerville.  It was collected near Milledgeville, Georgia.  The flowers are magenta with a yellow accent.
  • ‘Mallory’ is a selection made by Earl Sommerville.  It was selected for its nice reddish bloom color with yellow blotch.  It has small, but showy ball trusses.
  • *NE Smith Nursery Red is an orange-red selection made by Kelly Strickland.
  • ‘Nicole-O’ is a selection made by Earl Sommerville for its pastel shades of orange with a yellow blotch.
  • ‘Orange Carpet’ is a dwarf selection (3-4’) made by Earl Sommerville. It is possibly a hybrid with R. calendulaceum.
  • ‘Raspberry Sorbet’* is a Jenkins Arboretum selection with vibrant raspberry colored flowers with faint orange blotch. 
  • ‘Red Inferno’ is a selection made by Ernest Koone.  It has bright orange flowers with a yellow blotch that mature to a solid, bright red. 
  • ‘Salmon Sunset’* is an outstanding Jenkins Arboretum selection with salmon-orange colored flowers held in large ball trusses.
  • *’Salsa’* is a red flowering form with glossy foliage selected by Clarence Towe. 
  • ‘Thomas Nelson Dennis’ is a red-orange selection made by Aaron Varnadoe. 
  • *Wood Nymph’ is a selection with large, vivid orange flower trusses.

Rosebay Rhododendron (Rhododendron maximum)

  • ‘Ballet Slipper’* is a Jenkins Arboretum selection with delicate pink flowers that lack a blotch.
  • ‘Independence’ is a selection with bright pink flowers
  • Red Max (aka Mt. Mitchell) is a rare selection that exhibits variable red/white/pink flowers and red staining along leaf veins. 
  • Var. leachii ‘Whirlygig’ is a curly leafed selection that tends to be more compact than the species.

Piedmont Rhododendron (Rhododendron minus)

  • No named selections at this time

Pinxterbloom Azalea (Rhododendron periclymenoides)

  • *‘Effie Elation’ is a pink flowered selection with a blotch found in Greenville County, SC. by Patricia Phillips.
  • ‘Gumball’* is a Jenkins Arboretum selection with light, bubble-gum pink ball trusses.  Possibly a natural hybrid.
  • *‘Lavender Girl’ is a selection that has slightly lavender blooms and a diffused white blotch. It was selected by Jeff Beasley of Transplant Nursery.
  • *’Magic Pink’* is a selection made by Clarence Towe that starts out pink, turns dark pink.
  • ‘Orchid Ombre’* is a Jenkins Arboretum selection with intense, lavender pink flowers.
  • ‘Paxton’s Blue’ is a selection that has showy lavender blue flowers.  This selection was made by B. Bower and J. Paxton of Transplant Nursery. 
  • ‘Purple’ is a selection with lavender-purple flowers.  It was discovered in Lancaster County, South Carolina and introduced by Woodlanders Nursery.
  • *’Purple Paladin’* is a medium purple selection with red tubes found growing wild in South Carolina by Nick Anostos.
  • *Spaldeen’* is a Jenkins Arboretum selection from the fields of Jim Plyler noted for its tight, nice pink ball trusses.
  • ‘Stiff Upper Lip’* is an exceptional Jenkins Arboretum selection.  It has dark pink flowers with a bright white top petal.  As the flower ages, the color fades to a lighter pink and the white petal becomes less pronounced.

Roseshell Azalea (Rhododendron prinophyllum)

  • ‘Jane Abbott’ is a hybrid of R. prinophyllum and ‘Miss Louisa Hunnewell’ developed by Frank Abbott of Grafton, Vermont and named for his wife.  It retained the dark pink color and spicy fragrance of R. prinophyllum.

Plumleaf Azalea (Rhododendron prunifolium)

  • ‘Best in Show’* is a Jenkins Arboretum selection from the fields of Jim Plyler.  It is a knockout with intense pink flowers.  
  • ‘Best Red’* is a Jenkins Arboretum selection from the fields of Jim Plyler.  As its name implies, it has intense red flowers and good, dark green foliage.
  • *’Butter Yellow’* a yellow flowering selection made by Allen Cantrell.
  • ‘John Conner’ is a nice red selection found in Harris County, GA by Earl Sommerville.  
  • ‘Summer Pumpkin’* is an outstanding orange selection made by Jenkins Arboretum from the fields of Jim Plyler.

Pinkshell Azalea (Rhododendron vaseyi)

  • ‘Red Vaseyi’ is a dark pink/red flowering selection of R. vaseyi.
  • ‘White Find’ is a pure-white-flowering selection of R. vaseyi.
  • Unnamed white with purple-pink spotting in the upper petals
  • Unnamed deep pink (referenced earlier in the article)

Swamp Azalea (Rhododendron viscosum)

  • ‘Betty Cummins’ is a pink flowering selection of R. viscosum discovered growing wild in New Jersey by Dave Lewis. 
  • *‘Cumberland Blue’ is a selection made by Joe Schild for its bluish foliage.
  • ‘Delaware Blue’ a selection made by Polly Hill for its bluish foliage.
  • *’Pink Mist’ is a selection with light pink buds that open to white flowers.
  • ‘Roseum’ is a light pink selection discovered growing wild in Aiken County, SC by the folks at Woodlander’s Nursery.
  • ‘Summer Eyelet’ is a selection made by Summer Hill Nursery in Madison, CT for its blue-green foliage.
  • *Var. aemulans are low-growing, low-elevation type plants.  Are otherwise not significantly dissimilar from the species.
  • *Var. coryi are low-growing plants, but are otherwise not significantly dissimilar from the species.
  • Var. montanum are low-growing, high-elevation type plants, but are otherwise not significantly dissimilar from the species.
  • Var. oblongifolium is the commonly called the Texas azalea, but is no longer taxonomically considered to be different from R. viscosum because any differences that exist are within the range of “normal” for the species.
  • *Var. serrulatum is commonly called the Hammock-sweet azalea, but is no longer taxonomically considered to be different from R. viscosum because any differences that exist are within the range of “normal” for the species.