Rhododendron ‘Cunningham’s White’

Rhododendron ‘Cunningham’s White’

Ericaceae

Rhododendron ‘Cunningham’s White’

‘Cunningham’s White’ is one of the most important of the hybrid rhododendrons not for its ornamental qualities but for its value in breeding. A cross between Rhododendron caucasicum and Rhododendron ponticum alhum, it is distinguished by its vigorous growth — up to a height of 5m (16 ft). The flowers are large and white, in some forms pinkish. In warmer regions they appear as early as April, in harsher climates in May. As one can see, this is an early-flowering, evergreen species. Its most important characteristic is the ease of propagation by cuttings, which is why it is also most often used as rootstock for grafting cultivated varieties.

Though it is very important for breeding purposes, ‘Cunningham’s White’ is often used in mass plantings of rhododendrons in parks and gardens. Good combinations are with early-flowering species (such as azaleas), later-flowering species and late-flowering species such as most of the cultivated evergreen forms. In gardens evergreen species are generally planted as solitary specimens in an important spot, such as by the house entrance, beside steps or a piece of garden architecture, or as a dominant feature at the end of a flower, rose or shrub border. In parks they are generally used in group or mass plantings either by themselves or under trees.

02. May 2011 by Dave Pinkney
Categories: Ornamental Shrubs, Plants & Trees | Tags: | Comments Off on Rhododendron ‘Cunningham’s White’

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