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The Yakushimanum hybrids 'Fantastica' bloom in the foreground, on the right is the Pontic
Azalea (Rhododendron luteum) her yellow flowers. The beauty with the crimson pile in the background is the Grossblu
At the height of flowering, the colors of the flowers and the flowers dominate the picture of the garden and in the rest of the time the dark green foliage forms a calm background for flowering perennial beds. The rose trees - so the German translation of the Greek word "Rhododendron" - are a very old plant genus with 1000 known wild species, which occur predominantly in Asia. Most of them are not suitable for Central European gardens due to climatic demands. The first garden species, which were still quite sensitive to frost, emerged at the beginning of the 19th century through the crossing of introduced wild species, first in England and later also in Germany. The big-flowered hybrids are the largest rhododendron group. While many old cultivars such as 'Cunninghams White' and 'Catawbiense Grandiflorum' are still very vigorous and can reach heights of growth of up to 4 m in old age, modern breeds remain much more compact. Varieties like 'Peggy' are just over a meter high after 10 years. The range of flower colors leaves nothing to be desired in the large-flowered hybrids: it is even more extensive than in roses, because with 'Blue Boy' and 'Peter Alan' there are even varieties with almost blue flower colors.