Mill Pond Garden introduces six azalea cultivars

John Feliciani of Black Hog Farmstead of Lewes, right, gets help from Janice Pinto and Rich Palmer as he takes cuttings for propagation of new cultivars of azaleas selected for introduction by Mill Pond Garden in Nassau. SOURCE SUBMITTED
August 4, 2014

Mill Pond Garden Inc., a small nonprofit botanic garden near Nassau, introduces six new, superior, poukhanense azalea named cultivars, vegetatively propagated for sale to the public.

The introduced cultivars are being propagated by Black Hog Farmstead on New Road in Nassau ( and will be for sale in late spring 2015. This first propagation series will be a very limited quantity. To be sure of getting one of the cultivars listed below, reserve one now. The treasured White Swan may have only a dozen available. The proceeds of sales will go to fund programs at Mill Pond Garden and the future Delaware Botanic Gardens in Dagsboro. Prices are high because quantities are very limited, and these are new introductions.

Rhododendron yedoense poukhanense is a semi-evergreen species azalea that is a very desirable, low-maintenance choice for gardens. It blooms before the petal blight disease that ruins most later-blooming azaleas’ flowers. The poukhanense has a great compact, rounded sculptural mounding shape. It has large flowers loosely arranged. It does best in shade to part shade, in moist, well-drained soil enriched by compost, with a slightly acid pH. However, it can also thrive in almost any soil including clay and on slopes, and it tolerates a considerable amount of drought as well, when established - highly durable and versatile.

The Mill Pond Garden named cultivars are as follows:

Rhododendron poukhanense Early Bird is profuse and longer blooming than most; it starts five to seven days earlier than other poukenensis azaleas. It is a light pink with loose tresses and individual flowers up to three inches across.

Rhododendron poukhanense Late Lady has medium-pink flowers and is special for being a later bloomer than the other poukhanense azaleas, about five to seven days later.

Rhododendron poukhanense "White Swan" has large, loose, almost white flowers tinged pale violet on edges and center - spectacularly different!

Rhododendron poukhanense Lolly-Pop has fully rounded tight clusters, like lolly-pops, held very much aloft, very sculptural and striking, a lovely medium pink.

Rhododendron poukhanense Delaware has light violet-pink flowers in glowing profusion, a great favorite.

Rhododendron poukhanense "Buffy’s Choice," named for one of the owners of Mill Pond Garden, has gorgeous, iridescent, glowing, violet-colored, huge flowers. This one is a favorite of everyone, including the owners of Mill Pond Garden.