Scottish Daily Mail

RHODODENDR­ON ‘KIRIN’

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MOST would call this charming little shrub an azalea. But azaleas are all in the genus Rhododendr­on. Flowering now, this is a charmer for mid-to-late spring. Despite reaching an ultimate size of 1.5 m high and wide, this variety is as happy in a roomy container as in a border or at the edge of a shrubbery. Being slowgrowin­g, it will last for years in a half tub or a large container. The mid-pink, shapely flowers are ‘hose-in-hose’ — this means that they carry a bloom within a bloom. Unlike double flowers whose petals are crowded, the flowers of Kirin (pictured) retain their classic rhododendr­on shape. If you look closely at them, you can see that one flower is tucked inside the other. Ericaceous compost or acidic soils are essential for this plant. Cool damp conditions suit it well, so keep potted specimens well-watered during dry spells. Rain water is preferable to tap water if it’s available. Full sun or partial shade are best.

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