In this species oriented presentation, Elaine Sedlack will show the natural diversity of this vast genus, now estimated to comprise over 1000 species. Predominantly Asian, rhododendrons occupy just about every ecological niche. They are present in most Chinese provinces, and occur throughout Asia. Learn about the evolutionary devices which allow these plants to exist in different environmental extremes in the wild, and in your garden at home. Elaine will describe simple methods of cultivation to ensure their longevity, and she will suggest particular garden-worthy rhododendrons for success in our California climate – species and hybrids that have heat and sun tolerance.
Elaine Sedlack curates and cares for the Asian collection at the University of California Botanical Garden at Berkeley, where for the last 28 years she has been studying the fine points of rhododendron culture amid the many micro-climates of this Bay Area garden. She has learned how to help many homesick plants survive far from their homeland; the UC Asian rhododendron collection now numbers over 350 species.