Rhododendron Birds


Rhododendron Widgeon was been beaten to a great post by Jo Hanslip on insane journal

‘The Glendoick Bird Hybrids

The Bird series of dwarf rhododendrons were developed at Glendoick Gardens, in Scotland, and are classified as Dwarf Lepidote Hybrids.

The great plant hunters Ludlow and Sherriff returned to Britain in the 1950s. George Sherriff and his wife started a garden only 50km away from Glendoick and they became great friends of the Coxes. On an early visit to their home, Ascreavie, Peter Cox spotted a dwarf yellow-flowered rhododendron species with enormous bowl-shaped flowers for the size of the plant which turned out to be … Rhododendron ludlowii.

The Sherriffs allowed Peter to take some pollen home, which he applied to R. chryseum …  In due course, the hybrid R. ‘Chikor’ was selected and named from this cross and … given an Award of Merit by the Royal Horticultural Society.

A chikor is a game bird and this started the theme of naming all dwarf lepidote hybrids after birds, another prime interest of Peter’s. From then on, several dwarf crosses were made every year with Kenneth Cox starting to make his own crosses in the early 1980s. There are now 30 Glendoick birds which are popular with gardeners and rhododendron collectors in many parts of the world.

BRAMBLING 90cm. New Glendoick hybrid with brightest pink flowers in multiple clusters in April. Fine dark foliage.
CHIFF CHAFF 60cm. Masses of creamy yellow flowers in early May. A neat bush with handsome dark foliage. One of the original bird hybrids, raised in the 1960s.
CHIKOR 30cm. Bright yellow flowers in May. The first Glendoick Bird hybrid. Compact twiggy growth. Needs cool roots & good drainage.
CRANE 75cm. Creamy-white flowers in April. Hardy, very free-flowering and easy to please. One of the best white dwarf hybrids.
CURLEW 40cm. Comparatively large, beautiful, open-faced yellow flowers in April-May. Neat spreading habit and good foliage. Expanding buds need frost protection.
EGRET 60cm. Masses of tiny white bells in May. Compact, with shiny, deep green leaves, quite unlike any other hybrid.
EIDER 60cm. Pure white long-lasting flowers in April. Flowers relatively frost resistant. Foliage yellowish-green.
EUAN COX 15cm. Tight glossy foliage and fine yellow flowers on every shoot in late May. The one hybrid made by nursery founder Euan Cox.
GOOSANDER 75cm. Flat-faced yellow flowers with red spots in March-April. New growth reddish-bronze. Not for gardens colder than Glendoick. Semi-deciduous after cold winters.
MERGANSER 45cm. Freely produced yellow bells in May. Very neat habit with dark green foliage.
PINTAIL 60cm. Masses of spectacular brightest pink flowers in multiple trusses in April. A compact plant with good foliage.
PIPIT 20cm. Charming flat-faced pink flowers with darker markings in late May. A natural hybrid from Nepal. Needs extra care.
PTARMIGAN 30cm. The ‘Snow Grouse’ is covered every year by a carpet of pure white flowers in March-April. Flowers open over a long period during spells of mild weather, so it nearly always puts on a show. Creeping/spreading habit.
QUAIL 30cm. Bright red buds open to deep reddish-pink in April-May. Compact habit. Very free-flowering, the flowers last best in part-day shade. Almost a true red lepidote dwarf.
RAZORBILL 60cm. A remarkable plant with brightest pink long-lasting flowers late April-May, in tight upright trusses. Attractive crinkled leaves on a sturdy plant.
SWIFT 60cm. Fine yellow flowers, strongly spotted red, very freely produced in May. Not for gardens colder than Glendoick. Like ‘Curlew’ but a bit later flowering and more bud hardy.
TINKERBIRD 75cm. Masses of scented cream-white flowers in early May. A real breakthrough: a compact, scented dwarf which grows outdoors at Glendoick. Best in a sheltered site. Surprisingly bud hardy. Also good as a pot plant.
TREE CREEPER 30cm. Pink buds opening to flower pink on outside cream inside, giving an attractive two-toned effect. Compact habit. Very free-flowering. Flowers last best in part day shade.
TURAÇO 75cm+. Masses of pale pink flowers in April-May. A vigorous but tidy dwarf. The best pale pink hybrid of this type.
WAXBILL 75cm. Eye-catching, curious tubular pale pink flowers in April. A vigorous but tidy grower with bronzy new growth. Not for gardens colder than Glendoick.
WHEATEAR 75cm. Distinctive tubular cream flowers, striped pink in April. Vigorous but tidy grower with bronzy new growth. Not for gardens colder than Glendoick.
WIGEON 60cm. Fine slightly glaucous foliage, compact habit and saucer-shaped pink flowers, spotted deeper, in May.
WREN 20cm. Smothers itself with clear yellow flowers in May. Popular with rock garden enthusiasts, and forms a tight mat of attractive, shiny leaves. …………..

The Swift by Hamish Mackie at Grewelthorpe Himalayan Garden

Other Bird Rhododendrons

Arctic Tern – A compact, upright, free-flowering shrub with glossy green leaves and tubular flowers, white tinged green in globular heads. Height 1m. Moist well-drained acid soil in sun. Apr.-May. (Needs full sun to stay compact) Hybridised by Larsen

Blue Tit – Purple flowers, height 2ft, March/April. Hybridised by Waterer.

Yellow Hammer – A slender hybrid with small tubular flowers of clear empire yellow in clusters of two or three. Height 1m. Sunny site in acid soil that doesn’t dry out. Mar.-Apr. Hybridised by Waterer.

Humming Bird – (2/3ft) Deep rose-red. April/May.

Phalarope – A small shrub with shiny green leaves and masses of open bells of lilac pink. Height 1m. Moist well-drained acid soil in sun or part shade.

Sanderling Pure white flowers with dark stamens, this is a beautiful early-flowering hybrid (March). Foliage semi-deciduous. Final Height : 3-4.5ft’

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