Friday, March 12, 2010

Fun with Rhododendrons

This winter we have accessed a site from The Netherlands called which has been providing a gradual compilation of information on a very large number of rhododendron hybrids, species, azalea and other "rhodie cousins".
Anyone can access the basic information.  There is an option to sign in to create an account where you can compile a "My Garden" area. Here you may choose from the database the variety you choose and add your own info wrt acquisition, sources, number of plants, where it grows and so on. 
Each entry will then be accessible and editable. There are images for many varieties included in the database.
One can easily submit information if a variety we own is not in the database.
Images are also accepted . One can choose to have a "personal" image attached to your entry or one that existed already.
A recent addition to the info was the inclusion of bloom period. Grabbing the inclusive dates of bloom from 2009 proved to need quite a bit of approximation.
I rely upon pictures of plants to show the bloom period. An image taken at the colourful bud stage gives quite a good indication of the start time. This image of the buds of 'Red River'  looked like this June19th....a fairly good "beginning".
Finding another that is near the end hasn't always been so easy. This pic was taken at the "full bloom" stage on July7th. Adding a few days to that date is, I hope, a fair approximation.
Currently there is a space to add bloom time for the upcoming 2010 bloom season.
Perhaps this will be an incentive to actually keep better records....either image wise or as an entry in a computer file. 
I do expect I am not the only one who doesn't juduciously record the precise start and end date for their rhododendrons and azaleas!
Currently there are a number of "My Garden" contributions from both North America and Europe. Some have quite a lot of additions, some very few.
It has been very easy to transfer the basic info  for each plant submitted to an excel file which can easily be added to. I look forward to a comparison of the back to back years.
On the hirsutum site, any entry where someone has entered bloom dates shows the average number of days and how many contributions led to that number.
Since these bits of data come from growers all over the world, one would expect quite a range.
There are many websites with a lot of of information about rhododendrons and azaleas. This one seems appealing because it is somewhat interactive.

1 comment:

Chen said...

Sharon, Thanks for sharing such a useful link. Although the pictures are not yet as complete as the similar clematis site yet, it is already very useful. I wish there is a similar site for conifers.