First 50 Years of Hybridizing


The Hybridizers From 1817 to 1867

The Hybrids From 1817 to 1867

1817 HYBRIDUM - (viscosum x maximum) Azaleodendron, fragrant yellow. Rev. William Herbert, 1817. Return to Top
Herbert: Hon. and Rev. William Herbert, 1778-1847 was a British botanist, poet, and clergyman. He served as a Member of Parliament from 1806. He was an undergraduate at Exeter College, Oxford. He was Rector of Spofforth in Yorkshire. He became Dean of Manchester in 1840. He was the third son of Henry Herbert, 1st Earl of Carnarvon, and the father of Henry William Herbert. It was the Rev. William Herbert, cleric and amaryllid expert, after whom the International Bulb Society's official journal Herbertia takes its name, who established the genus Nerine in 1820. Herbert was also one of the first to work in the field of hybridizing especially of vegetables. Herbert was a friend of Darwin and received some of the first seeds brought back by Darwin on his adventures. He is frequently referred to as Dean Herbert.
1817 MYRTIFOLIUM - (minus var. minus x hirsutum). Origin unknown; shown 1817. Return to Top
Myrtifolium: The cross of R. hirsutum with R. minus yields 'Myrtifolium,' an excellent performer. This plant seems to have existed before 1824 but where it first appeared and who made the cross are both unknown. Rhododendron minus was introduced to Britain in 1786 via John Fraser
1819 SUBDECIDUUM - (ponticum x calendulaceum), Azaleodendron. Thompson at Mile End, London, 1819. Return to Top
Thompson: Some claim the first hybrid recorded was an azaleodendron, a chance hybrid between R. calendulaceum and R. ponticum that occurred in Thompson's Mile End Nursery. By 1819 there was a plant of this in the collection at the Royal Botanic Garden at Edinburgh, listed as R. subdeciduum 'Thompson's Hybrid'.
Others claim that the first hybrid rhododendron was a plant called 'Azaleoides,' another azaleodendron, which comes from the cross of R. nudiflorum with R. ponticum. This plant originated at the nursery of a Mr. Thompson at Mile End, London, about 1820. Some claim this was bred in 1814.
1820 AZALEOIDES - (ponticum x nudiflorum) Azaleodendron. Thompson at Mile End, London, c. 1820.
1823 MISS NOREEN BEAMISH - griffithianum hybrid, M. Koster & Sons, 1823. Return to Top
Koster: The Dutch hybridizers M. Koster & Sons of Boskoop went on to cross R. catawbiense 'Parson's Grandiflorum' with an unnamed bright red Catawba hybrid to create the still-popular red NOVA ZEMBLA. The same nursery firm more than twenty years later crossed the same two parent cultivars to achieve AMERICA.
1829 NOBLEANUM VENUSTUM - (caucasicum x arboreum). William Smith, in 1829. Return to Top
Smith: The old hardy hybrid rhododendron Nobeanum Venustum can often be seen flowering in December if the weather stays mild through early winter. But normally it flowers in late winter. It was raised by William Smith, gardener to the Earl of Liverpool at Coombe Wood, Kingston on Thames, and later nurseryman at Norbiton. At Norbiton, Smith became a very adventurous hybridizer.
1830 NORBITONENSE AUREUM - ((maximum x ponticum) x molle) Azaleodendron, William Smith, 1830.
NORBITONENSE BROUGHTONIANUM - ((maximum x ponticum) x molle) Azaleodendron, William Smith, c. 1830.
1831 ALTACLERENSE - ((catawbiense x ponticum) x arboreum) J. R. Gowen, 1831. Return to Top
Gowen: Rev. William Herbert's azaleodendron HYBRIDUM encouraged his elder brother, the Earl of Carnarvon, to institute extensive experiments at Highclere Castle in Berkshire under the supervision of J. R. Gowen, who later became Secretary of the Royal Horticultural Society. They produced 'Altaclerense', a hybrid between R. arboreum and a R. catawbiense/R. ponticum cross. There is an original plant of this at Tregothnan. This plant exists today, both in the trade and in cultivation.
1831 RUSSELLIANUM - (catawbiense x arboreum) Russell, 1831. Return to Top
Russell: Russell's nursery at Battersea. CORNISH EARLY RED is a synonym for RUSSELLIANUM.
1832 ORNATUM - (viscosum x ponticum) Azaleodendron, Gowen, 1832.
1833 JACKSONII - (caucasicum x Nobleanum) Rev. William Herbert, 1835
NOBLEANUM - (caucasicum x arboreum). M. Waterer, Knap Hill, c. 1832 - 1835. Return to Top
M. Waterer: By crossing R. arboreum with R. caucasicum in 1833, the Michael Waterer (1770-1842) at Knaphill, Woking, UK, produced the well known 'Nobleanum' which flowers at Christmas. In 1870 Anthony Waterer (1822-1896) of Knap Hill Nursery began hybridizing using the species and developed hybrids of the deciduous rhododendrons that included those hybrids from Belgium and species from eastern North America, China, Asia Minor along with R. occidentale from western North America. Then in the 1920's these Knaphill's were hybridized further by Lionel Rothschild of Exbury Gardens in Hampshire to produce the Exbury strain of azaleas.
1834 PUNCTA - (ferrugineum x minus var. minus) Origin unknown, before 1835.
1835 CUNNINGHAM'S SULPHUR - form of caucasicum. Cunningham, early 1800s. Return to Top
Cunningham: Rhododendron 'Cunningham's White' was an early hybrid introduced in 1830 by hybridizer James Cunningham of Comely Bank Nurseries of Edinburgh, Scotland. His hybrid R. 'Cunningham's White' very well may hold the record for the most propagated rhododendron ever. To this day it is still the best rootstock for grafted plants and used throughout the world for grafting rhododendrons. There are a many great hybrids with R. 'Cunningham's White' in their parentage.
1835 CUNNINGHAM'S WHITE - (caucasicum x ponticum var. album) Cunningham, 1830.
NOBLEANUM COCCINEUM - (caucasicum x arboreum). M. Waterer, Knap Hill, 1835.
PULCHERRIMUM - (arboreum x caucasicum) J. Waterer, Sons & Crisp, 1835. Return to Top
J. Waterer: In 1829 Michael Waterer (1770-1842) took control of John Taylor's nursery at Bagshot. John Waterer (1784-1868), Michael's brother went to live on the nursery and three of his sons - Frederick, Michael and John - worked with him on the nursery which traded as 'John Waterer & Sons'. It was known for specializing in American plants, especially Rhododendrons.
1838 PICTUM - (campanulatum x maximum) J. Waterer, before 1839.
SUPERBISSIMUM Parentage unknown. Veitch, before 1839. Return to Top
Veitch: James Veitch, Veitch Nurseries of Killerton and Exeter. In 1846, Thomas Lobb, a Cornishman working for James Veitch of Exeter, sent R,. javanicum and R. jasminiflorum from Java and Sumatra respectively. Later, he also introduced from the Malayan Peninsula and lower Burma R. malayanum, R. moulmainense, and R. veitchianum. Over the years, the Veitches were instrumental in sending collectors all over the world and introducing a great many valuable plants into cultivation in Britain, but no more rhododendrons until they sent E. H. Wilson to China in 1899.
1842 FRAGRANS - (ponticum x viscosum) Azaleodendron, Paxton of Chandler & Sons, before 1843. Return to Top
Paxton: Paxton of Chandler & Sons Nursery, London, introduced Rhododendron 'Fragrans', in 1843, and described it as, "A sweet-scented azaleodendron, fast-growing and compact with trusses of small flowers, pale mauve with centers lighter to white." Recent DNA testing of Rcvs. 'Fragrans', 'Fragrans Affinity', and 'Fragrant Affinity' verified that all three are crosses of R. ponticum and "viscosum", but that the three hybrids are distinct, and not the same clones. The report leads to speculation that the "viscosum" was probably a natural hybrid of viscosum since these are common in the wild and difficult to identify. However, the tests concluded that hybrids Rcvs. 'Fragrans', 'Fragrans Affinity', and 'Fragrant Affinity' were definitely the results of crosses of evergreen rhododendrons of subgenus Hymenanthes and deciduous azaleas of subgenus Pentanthera. []
1843 APRILIS - (ponticum x dauricum). Rev. William Herbert, 1843.
1845 FASTUOSUM FLORE PLENO - (catawbiense x ponticum) Francoisi, before 1846. Return to Top
Francoisi: Fastuosum Flore Pleno' is a sterile double-flowered hybrid, bred before 1846 by Geber Francoisi of the Francoisi Brothers nursery in Ghent, Holland.
1846 ALBUM ELEGANS - unknown catawbiense hybrid. A. Waterer, before 1847. Return to Top
A. Waterer: Anthony Waterer (11822-1896), the second proprietor of the family's Knap Hill nursery was a prolific hybridizer with many hardy hybrids.
1846 SAPPHO Parentage unknown; ponticum hybrid ?, A. Waterer, before 1847.
1847 BLANDYANUM - (catawbiense x Altaclerense [1831]) Standish and Noble, before 1848. Return to Top
Standish & Noble: Messrs. Standish and Noble began their famous nursery at Sunningdale in Surrey in 1847. It was just a year before Joseph Dalton Hooker arrived back from Sikkim with seed of his twenty-six species of Himalayan rhododendrons that were to play such an important role in hybridizing over the one hundred years to come. In the early 1850's, many robust hardy hybrids were being offered by Standish and Noble at Sunningdale. In 1859 Standish and Noble parted company. Standish started a separate nursery at Ascot some three miles west of Sunningdale. In 1860 they both introduced a hybrid with R. griffithianum blood; one calling the new hybrid 'Cynthia' and the other 'Lord Palmerston'. We all know which name made it. While Standish was much the better grower and propagator, Noble, it seems, was the better name caller.
1848 STANDISHII - (maximum x Altaclerense [1831]), Standish and Noble, before 1849.
1849 AMETHYST (Noble) - Parentage unknown. Noble, before 1850.
CAPTIVATION - (maximum x Altaclerense [1831]). Standish and Noble, before 1850.
EVERESTIANUM - unknown catawbiense hybrid. A. Waterer, before 1850.
FERNHILL SILVER - selection of arboreum. Glasnevin Botanic Garden, Trinity College, Dublin, before 1850. Return to Top
Glasnevin: In 1800 the Glasnevin botanic garden was founded by the Dublin Society for Promoting Husbandry and Other Useful Arts; with its comparative plantings of different crops and regular demonstrations of the latest agricultural machinery, must have been more like a model farm than a botanic garden. By contrast, the Liverpool botanic garden was created in 1803, was more like a public park, an ornamental pleasure garden, full of exotic blooms and very much dedicated to the growing popularity of gardening as a hobby.
1849 GUIDO - unknown catawbiense hybrid. A. Waterer, before 1850.
LADY ELEANOR CATHCART - (maximum x arboreum). Waterer before 1850. Return to Top
Waterer: Many hardy hybrids were offered by the Waterer firms at Bagshot and Knaphill. Most of these, unfortunately, were grafted on R. ponticum stocks. This was before it was realized what a very vigorous species this is, and in all too many cases the stocks overwhelmed the scions. This accounts for the clumps of R. ponticum in many old gardens, where originally more attractive hardy hybrids had been planted.
1849 LEE'S BEST PURPLE - unknown catawbiense hybrid. Lee, before 1851. Return to Top
Lee: Lee was a pioneer hybridizer of Lee and Kennedy at Hammersmith, London. The gardens of Lee and Kennedy were of such an extensive scale they were considered national monuments.
1849 LEE'S DARK PURPLE - unknown catawbiense hybrid. Lee, before 1851.
MADAME MASSON - (catawbiense x ponticum) Bertin, 1849.
METEOR - (Altaclerense [1831] x catawbiense). Standish and Noble, before 1850.
PICTURATUM - (Altaclerense [1831] x maximum hybrid). A. Waterer, before 1850.
PURPUREUM ELEGANS - unknown catawbiense hybrid. H. Waterer, before 1850. Return to Top
H. Waterer: Hosea Waterer (1793-1853) was the first proprietor of the Waterer families Knap Hill Nursery, before Anthony.
1849 PURPUREUM GRANDIFLORUM - unknown catawbiense hybrid. H. Waterer, before 1850.
SYONENSE - (arboreum ssp. cinnamomeum var. album x catawbiense). Iveson, 1849. Return to Top
Iveson: Mr. Iveson was head gardener to the Duchess Dowager of Northumberland at Syon.
1849 THE BRIDE - form of caucasicum var. album, selfed. Standish and Noble, before 1850.
1850 ALBUM GRANDIFLORUM - unknown catawbiense hybrid. Waterer, before 1851.
CUNNINGHAM'S BLUSH - (caucasicum x ponticum) Cunningham, c. 1850.
ELEGANS - (Altaclerense [1831] x catawbiense). Standish and Noble, 1850.
EUCLID Parentage unknown. Standish and Noble, 1850.
GIGANTEUM - unknown catawbiense hybrid. A. Waterer, before 1851.
MRS. LOUDEN = (Altaclerense [1831] x (maximum x unknown). Standish and Noble, 1850.
NOBLEANUM BICOLOR - (Altaclerense [1831] x catawbiense). Standish and Noble, 1850.
ORIGINAL - form of caucasicum var. album. Standish and Noble, 1850.
PARSONS GLORIOSUM - unknown catawbiense hybrid. Samuel Parsons, c. 1850. Return to Top
Parsons: Parsons Nursery was established in Flushing, Long Island, NY, in 1840.
1850 PULCHELLUM - (catawbiense x Altaclerense [1831]) Standish and Noble, 1850.
QUEEN VICTORIA - unknown Altaclerense [1831] hybrid. Standish and Noble, 1850.
ROSEUM ELEGANS - unknown catawbiense hybrid. A. Waterer, before 1851.
TOWARDII - (catawbiense x Altaclerense [1831]) Standish and Noble, 1850.
VIVID - (Altaclerense x maximum hybrid). Standish and Noble, 1850.
1851 ATROSANGUINEUM - (catawbiense x sanguineum?). H. Waterer, 1851.
ENGLISH ROSEUM - Sport of ROSEUM ELEGANS?. A, Waterer c. 1851.
LEE'S SCARLET - unknown catawbiense hybrid. Lee, 1851.
1852 BROUGHTONII - unknown arboreum ssp. arboreum hybrid. Broughton, before 1853.
CAUCASICUM PICTUM - unknown caucasicum hybrid. Ord of Manchester, before 1853.
1853 CONCESSUM Parentage unknown. J. Byls, before 1853. Return to Top
Byls: M. Jean Byls of Ghent, Belgium
1853 PICTUM - form of caucasicum, Standish and Noble, 1853. (after Pictum 1839)
1855 PLEASANT - (thomsonii x campylocarpum). Horlick, 1855. Return to Top
Horlick: Sir John Horlick, who made his money from a malted milk drink, Horlicks.
1855 PRINCE CAMILLE DE ROHAN - unknown caucasicum hybrid. Waelbrouck, 1855.
1856 CYNTHIA - (catawbiense? x griffithianum?). Standish and Noble, c. 1856.
JEWESS - unknown caucasicum hybrid. Liebig, before 1857. Return to Top
Liebig: Ludwig Leopold Liebig, 1801-1872, operated Elisenruhe Nursery near Dresden.
1857 LUCIDIUM - unknown ponticum hybrid. Waterer, 1857.
1858 WILSONI - (ciliatum x glaucum). Thomas Nuttall, Lancashire, before 1859. Return to Top
Nuttall: Thomas Nuttall, Lancashire, (1786-1859), a British native, was appointed professor of Botany at the Harvard Botanic Garden.
1859 AJAX - Parentage unknown. Waterer, before 1860.
AMILCAR - Parentage unknown. Standish before 1860.
ATHENIA - unknown catawbiense hybrid. Before 1860.
BETSY TROTWOOD - Parentage unknown. Standish and Noble, before 1859.
JOHN WALTER - (catawbiense x arboreum). J. Waterer, before 1860.
MACULOSISSIMUM - Parentage unknown. Standish, before 1860.
MULTIMACULATUM - (ponticum x brachycarpum). J. Waterer, before 1860.
PAMELA - Parentage unknown. Standish and Noble, before 1860.
RAEANUM - (Altaclerense [1831] x (maximum hybrid)). Standish and Noble, 1859.
VESTA - Parentage unknown. Standish and Noble, before 1860.
1860 GABRIELE LIEBIG - (arboreum x ponticum). Otto Schulz or Liebig, 1860. Return to Top
Schulz: Otto Schulz, head gardener of the Royal Porcelain Factory in Berlin.
1860 JOHN WATERER - unknown catawbiense hybrid. J. Waterer, 1860.
ROYAL PURPLE - Parentage unknown. Standish and Noble, c. 1860.
1861 ASCOT BRILLIANT - (Blandyanum [1847] x arboreum). John Standish, 1861.
DENISONII - an unknown dalhousiae hybrid, lepidote. Before 1862.
HENRYANUM - (dalhousiae x formosum), lepidote. J. A. Henry, before 1862.
JEAN VERSCHAFFELT - unknown caucasicum hybrid. T. J. R. Seidel, before 1862. Return to Top
Seidel: Traugott Jacob Herrmann Seidel of T. J. Seidel Brothers, near Dresden.
1861 PRINCESS ALICE - (ciliatum x edgeworthii). Veitch, before 1862.
SESTERIANUM - (edgeworthii x formosum), lepidote. Rollisson, before 1862. Return to Top
Rollisson: Rollisson & Son Nursery, Tooting, London
1862 BODARTIANUM - (arboreum x campanulatum or ponticum). Van Houtte, before 1863. Return to Top
Van Houtte: Louis van Houtte was born in 1810 Belgium and became one of that Belgium's greatest plant explorers and nurserymen. He operated several nurseries in Ghent.
1862 MINNIE - Parentage unknown. Standish and Veitch, 1862.
PICOTEE ROSEUM (PICOTEE ROSEA) - Parentage unknown. Veitch, before 1863.
PRINCESS HELENA - (ciliatum x edgeworthii), lepidote. J. A. Henry, 1862.
PRINCESS LEOPOLD - (dalhousiae x formosum), lepidote. J. A. Henry, 1862.
SUAVE - (edgeworthii x bullatum), lepidote. Liebig, before 1862.
1864 CARACTACUS - unknown catawbiense hybrid. A. Waterer, before 1865.
CHARLES BAGLEY - unknown catawbiense hybrid. A. Waterer, before 1865.
CHARLES DICKENS - unknown catawbiense hybrid. Waterer, before 1865.
H. W. SARGENT - unknown catawbiense hybrid. A. Waterer, before 1865.
LADY CLERMONT - unknown catawbiense hybrid. A. Waterer, before 1865.
MRS. JOHN CLUTTON - unknown maximum hybrid. A. Waterer, before 1865.
MRS. JOHN WATERER - Parentage unknown. J. Waterer, before 1865.
ROSEUM SUPERBUM - unknown catawbiense hybrid. A. Waterer, before 1865.
RUBENS - Parentage unknown. A. Waterer, before 1865.
SHERWOODEANUM - (arboreum ssp. cinnamomeum var. album x catawbiense) J. Waterer, before 1865.
STELLA (STELLA WATERER) - unknown catawbiense hybrid. A. Waterer, before 1865.
1865 ALEXANDER DANCER - unknown catawbiense hybrid. H. Waterer, 1865.
BIANCA - Parentage unknown. Before 1866.
OLD PORT - unknown catawbiense hybrid. A. Waterer, 1865.
PELOPIDAS - unknown catawbiense hybrid. J. Waterer, 1865.
ROSABEL - a griersonianum hybrid. A. Waterer, 1865.
1866 MADAME CARVALHO - unknown catawbiense hybrid. J. Waterer, 1866.
MRS. R. S . HOLFORD - Parentage unknown. A. Waterer, 1866.
SIR JOHN BROUGHTON - unknown ponticum hybrid. Before 1867.
SURPRISE - (falconeri x thomsonii). J. Waterer, before 1867.
THE WARRIOR - Parentage unknown. J. Waterer, before 1867.
VESUVIUS - (catawbiense x arboreum). J. Waterer, before 1867.
1867 ANICA BRICOGNE - Parentage unknown; ponticum? Before 1868.
DAPHNOIDES - Parentage unknown; possibly ponticum hybrid. T. Methven, 1868. Return to Top
Methven: T. Methven, of the Stanwell Nurseries, Bonnington Road, Edinburgh, Scotland
1867 FRAGRANTISSIMUM - (edgeworthii x formosum), lepidote. Rollisson, before 1868.
JOSEPH WHITWORTH - unknown ponticum hybrid. J. Waterer, 1867.
NAPOLEON BAUMANN - Parentage unknown. Baumann of Belgium, 1867. Return to Top

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