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Is this a yellow rhodedendron?


Hi all, 

My sister is planning some rearrangements in her garden, and wants to move but not lose the attached established shrub. 

It's beautiful, and we are more than ready to dig out a good sized ball of roots to give it the best chance to survive the relocation, but one thing had given us pause. A neighbour has said that it is possibly an incredibly rare natural yellow rhododendron bush. We had been thinking it was a yellow azalea.

It seems that yellow rhodedendrons do exist, and are A Bit Special, but we simply can't make up our minds whether it is or not.  We will probably not move it at all if we risk losing a really special plant by not surviving the transfer.

Any advice you can give will be much appreciated. 

Best regards,



  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,350

    Hi ES - Azaleas have fewer stamens than rhodies, which is the way to tell them apart, but it's a minor point. Size isn't a factor either as there are small and large in both types.  Most rhodies are purple/pink through to pale pink, so I think many people think you can't get yellows, creams or whites, but they're not that unusual. 

    If you want to move it, you can, but probably best to wait till later in the year, when ground is wetter, and get as much rootball as you can. You can also prune it back to lessen the shock of moving it, and then keep an eye on it. If you're worried about doing that, then perhaps you can rearrange the other planting instead! image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Many thanks for taking the time to respond, Fairygirl!

    I confess I'm really none the wiser about knowing which our particular plant is, but I'm sure that's my ignorance rather than your post. Perhaps the pictures I took aren't detailed enough for us to know for sure.

    I'm encouraged that it's not an uncommon specimen even if it is a yellow rhodedendron. We had built it up in our heads that we might be unwittingly killing the last known example on the planet.

    To be honest I'm all for leaving it where it is, as it seems very happy with its current location. I'm definitely a stick-it-in-and-it's-got-two-chances kind of rank amateur, but my sister is much more particular, and has some very firm ideas about what's going where in her just-so re-arrangement.

    Anyhow, thanks again. 


  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Posts: 37,209

    Hi. Your rhododendron looks like Rhododendron 'Princess Anne'. Not a rarity I'm afraid but very beautiful. Rhododendrons are quite shallow rooted and move easily. As fairygirl says, leave moving until the Autumn. Yours looks quite large so I would be tempted to leave it where it is. It can be pruned back after flowering to keep it within bounds but there may be a slight flower loss next Spring.

    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
  • Again, many thanks for taking the time to respond, Ladybird4!

    Looking at images online, "Princess Anne" looks to be right on the money to me. I've left for the weekend now, but my sister has promised to check with Google Images and a magnifying glass, and let me know for sure. 

    Thanks for sharing your expertise. And with that, out into my own ill-governed patch of undergrowth to try and wrangle that into shape whilst the sunshine lasts...


  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,350

    ES - it can be difficult to ID a particular variety of some plants  - mainly because there can be so many that are similar, and also because it can depend on light, the camera, and the stage the flowers are at. 

    There's one called Crest which is also very similar to your one. 

    I always reckon the variety doesn't matter - as long as you like it  image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
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