Rhododendrons are evergreen shrubs with colorful bell-like flowers. Most varieties bloom in the month of May. These showy plants are typically 4 to 10 feet in height and width though they can reach as much as 20 feet. Rhododendron blooms offer colors that span nearly every shade of the rainbow.
White rhododendrons lend a delicate, elegant look to the garden. The alabamense, Queen Anne’s and alpine dew have pure snowy white blossoms. The Percy Wiseman and Peeping Tom have a small touch of pink in the otherwise white flowers. The eider and ptarmigan are very small varieties of white rhododendron that span only 1 foot. The Mount Everest and Mother of Pearl varieties are at the other end of the spectrum with a height of 7 feet.
Red and Pink
Red and pink rhododendrons come in a wide spectrum of colors from scarlet to soft pink. The burgundy, black magic and Captain Jack rhododendrons have deep red blooms. The amity, red dazzle and Queen of Hearts are a more vibrant fiery red. The Miss Frances variety straddles the line between red and pink with a vibrant shade that’s a little of both. Bikini Island and Abraham Lincoln rhododendrons are hot pink in color with the Aladdin and Wee Bee bringing out softer shades. For some of the palest pinks, look for the floda, Betty Hume, Bruce Brechtbill and Airy Fairy.
Shades of Purple
Purple rhododendrons give the garden an air of whimsy, whether you’re looking for a delicate pale violet like the Alice Swift or a bold shocking purple like the red eye. The kangaroo rhododendron is a charming violet with deeper purple spanning out from the center of the blossom. Varieties such as bluette and blue baron are nearly blue in color. The Susan and Dexter’s Victoria are a lavender so pale as to almost be white.
Orange and Yellow
For a cheerful, sunny addition to the garden, various shades of yellow and orange rhododendrons aim to please. The goldfee, beautiful day and amazement are a pale buttery yellow. Buttermint and apricot nectar varieties are peach in color. The golden ruby combines peach-hued petals with touches of grapefruit pink along the edges. The trewithen orange is golden orange. Old copper and orange marmalade varieties display a deeper orange hue tinged with red.