2010 The Rhododendron

  • Date: 25th January 2016

This is an important year for our Society, the fiftieth since it was founded, and hence this is the Golden Anniversary issue of The Rhododendron.

There are three overseas articles: two with exciting and heartening news of the discovery of previously unknown populations of rhododendron species – in Sikkim, India R. niveum, and in Hubei Province, China R. simsii, in both cases of significant size. The third article has an absorbing discussion of the application of Phenology (study of the timing of recurring biological events through the seasons) to the monitoring of global warming indications, and an important role is proposed for rhododendrons as subjects for Phenological observations. We are most grateful again to Hemant Badola and Bahrat Pradhan (who contributed in 2009) for the R. niveum article, to Guan Kaiyun for the R. simsii one, and for the Phenology article Hemant Badola again.

We also carry a short history of the Society and the National Rhododendron Gardens in Olinda, Victoria, which were established by the Society, through the labours of Society members, after successful advocacy to government for its concept. The author is Lesley Eaton, former Victorian Branch and National President, and now President of the Southern Tasmania Branch.

National Secretary Simon Begg has contributed a very interesting article on Vireya rhododendrons, and the importance of husbanding (and expanding as and when possible) the diversity of species in cultivation in Australia, inter alia through placing plants into the care of more individuals so that their continued cultivation here might be the more secure.

And Lesley Gillanders of Southern Tasmania Branch has given us a glimpse into her passion for botanic art, featuring rhododendrons, of course.

I’m very pleased too to have the opportunity to publish an article by Dick Harris of the Blue Mountains Rhododendron Society about the Campbell Rhododendron Gardens at Blackheath in the Blue Mountains, New South Wales (not their original name, as the article explains). In my time as National Secretary from 1995 to 2002 I became aware that in the early years of the Australian Rhododendron Society there was contact with the Blue Mountains group, but the two had drifted apart and formal affiliation with the ARS was terminated after some years. I visited the gardens to attend a BMRS meeting and met committee members, after becoming acquainted with then-President Bill Nelson (who took up a membership in the ARS Victorian Branch – Bill and wife Sally are still active BMRS members). Whilst in Blackheath I also met committee member Dick Harris at his nursery, well stocked with rhododendrons. Our two societies are still independent of one another, but it’s timely to have Dick’s article in this important anniversary issue of our Journal (it’s also the 40th anniversary of the Campbell Rhododendron Gardens)...

CONTENTS
Editorial - Barry Stagoll..................................................................3
President’s Report · Neil Webster..........................................................5
Around the Society’s Branches..............................................................7
Phenology and Climate Responses in Himalayan Rhododendrons Hermant K. Badola...............17
A Tribute to Jack O’Shannassy, MBE · Barry Stagoll........................................29
A hobby which grew · Lesley Gillanders....................................................31
Discovery of new populations of a rare species – Rhododendron niveum Hemant K. Badola & Bharat K. Pradhan......................................................40
50 Years of The Australian Rhododendron Society –
and The National Rhododendron Gardens · Lesley Eaton......................................50
A newly discovered Rhododendron simsii natural community Guan Kaiyun......................58
The Campbell Rhododendron Gardens · Dick Harris...........................................61
Obituary: Mrs Fairie Nielsen · Sue Simpson................................................62
Vireya rhododendrons - Spreading the species around · Simon Begg..........................65
New Registrations 2009–2010 · Ken Gillanders..............................................71
Branch Information........................................................................72