Belfast Botanic Gardens Tree Archive

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This series of short articles about trees in the Belfast Botanic Gardens is compiled by members of the Friends group and Gardens staff. We aim to build up to a comprehensive archive of trees in Belfast Botanic Gardens. Each article illustrates a tree growing in Belfast Botanic Gardens together with information from a range of sources. Where possible we will give the tree tag number - these are the small aluminium discs, usually fixed on the tree trunk, 2 to 3m above ground level.
Rhododendron sinogrande
Great Chinese Rhododendron

Tag -
54 deg 34.957N
5 deg 55.862W

Rhododendron sinogrande is a rhododendron on a grand scale, forming a large shrub or even a small tree, with huge leaves up to 60cm long with a grey or buff indumentum on the backs. The profusion of large creamy flowers have a distinctive pink stigma. A superb plant if you have a garden big enough to show it off at its best. It comes from W. Yunan, NE Upper Burma and SE Tibet. It was discovered and introduced by George Forrest in 1913, received an RHS Award of Merit in 1922 and a First Class Certificate in 1926. Said to be half-hardy (OK to -5 degC) it thrives in areas without too much wind which can break branches and damage leaves.

Rhododendron sinogrande in Belfast Botanic Gardens Rhododendron sinogrande flowers
Rhododendron sinogrande by Stranmillis Road gate, Belfast Botanic gardens Rhododendron sinogrande flowering in February in Belfast Botanic Gardens
Rhododendron sinogrande Rhododendron sinogrande
Rhododendron sinogrande Rhododendron sinogrande
Rhododendron sinogrande Rhododendron sinogrande
Rhododendron sinogrande flower detail Rhododendron sinogrande leaf indumentum

Photos taken in Belfast Botanic Gardens in 2017. Copyright: Friends of Belfast Botanic Gardens.

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