Brueckner Rhododendron Project

Brueckner Hybrids Catalogue

The Brueckner Hybrids Test Project was established by the Niagara Region Chapter, Rhododendron Society of Eastern Canada (RSEC). This multi-site, 5-year, cross-border project seeks to evaluate the horticultural merit of more than 100 rhododendron hybrids from the private collection developed by the late Dr. Joseph Brueckner of Mississauga, Ontario.

The purpose of the project is to measure plant performance across a range of climate and environmental conditions. Participants in the project include both institutional Partners and home gardeners. Please see below for a full description of the project.

For the convenience of participants in the project, we are introduing a catalogue of the cultivars they are evaluating, with corresponding photographs. The catalogue contains 5 columns:

Brueckner Hybrids Catalogue
I 27not knownEphoto_1 | photo_2
I 28C 78 02Parson's Gloriosum × CowslipEphoto
I 37not knownEphoto
I 39L 9 05(BVT × forestii repens) × Rodhatte See BVT at bottomEphoto_1 | photo_2
I 43not knownLphoto_1 | photo_2
I 44C 64 023Catalgla × TreasureEphoto_1 | photo_2
I 45B 36 01Janet Blair × YakushimanumEphoto_1 | photo_2
I 46K 11 03America × SmirnowiiEphoto_1 | photo_2
I 57H 16 02russatum × dauricum sempervirensLphoto
I 58not knownLphoto_1 | photo_2
I 59not knownLphoto
I 63not knownLphoto
II 2H 26 04Impeditum (Kolaga) × Steele's AugustiniiLphoto
II 6Azaleaphoto
II 10O 10 01Keiskei × FletcherianumLphoto_1 | photo_2
II 24Azaleaphoto
II 27L 16 01mucronolatum, low [?] (Mezitt?) × mucronolatum 'Cornell Pink'Lphoto_1 | photo_2
II 29K 2 03Janet Blair × SmirnowiiEphoto_1 | photo_2
III 3not knownLphoto_1 | photo_2
III 4not knownLphoto
III 8not knownLphoto_1 | photo_2
III 10not knownLphoto_1 | photo_2
III 19not knownEphoto_1 | photo_2
III 20not knownLphoto_1 | photo_2
III 27not knownEphoto
III 29not knownLphoto_1 | photo_2
III 37L 8BVT × Forestii repensEphoto_1 | photo_2
IV 9G 33 06Impeditum (Kolaga) × BluetteLphoto_1 | photo_2
IV 10G 37Chryseum × probably carolinianum whiteLphoto
IV 11not knownEphoto_1 | photo_2
IV 12not knownEphoto_1 | photo_2
IV 18H 1 03Nikomontanum × WilliamsianumEphoto_1 | photo_2
IV 22C 22 02Carolinianum pink × Impeditum (Comerford)Lphoto_1 | photo_2
IV 26C 78 01Parson's Gloriosum × CowslipLphoto_1 | photo_2
IV 32Azaleaphoto_1 | photo_2
V 3not knownEphoto_1 | photo_2
V 27D 16 03Pinnacle × (Brachy mont × Souleii)Ephoto_1 | photo_2
V 41not known (lower branch)Ephoto_1 | photo_2
V 52not knownLNo photo
V 58not knownLphoto_1 | photo_2
V 66not knownLphoto_1 | photo_2
V 70F 6 01King Tut × BVTEphoto_1 | photo_2
VI 2H 63(Bureavii × Fabia) × NikomontanumEphoto_1 | photo_2
VI 12B 3 09Ice Cube × YakushimanumE 2nd genphoto_1 | photo_2
VI 23C 94 01Pinnacle OPEphoto_1 | photo_2
VI 28K 2 014Janet Blair × Smirnowii (correction, is not K 2 04)Ephoto_1 | photo_2
VI 30K 2 01Janet Blair × SmirnowiiE 2nd genphoto_1 | photo_2
VI 32F 13 06Mars × BVTEphoto
VI 38C 87 07Catawbiense comp. × Yakushimanum Exb.Ephoto_1 | photo_2
VI 48not knownEphoto_1 | photo_2
VII 11not knownEphoto_1 | photo_2
VII 18not knownEphoto_1 | photo_2
VII 20not knownEphoto_1 | photo_2
VII 30H 64 02BVT × CerasinumEphoto_1 | photo_2
VIII 4H 66BVT × (Moonstone × Repens)Ephoto_1 | photo_2
VIII 11H 68 01BVT × Ruby HeartEphoto_1 | photo_2
VIII 14C 37 01Catawbiense comp. × WilliamsianumEphoto_1 | photo_2
VIII 35not knownEphoto
VIII 39O 2 01BT × ObiculareEphoto
VIII 59F 37 03Carmen × BVTEphoto_1 | photo_2
VIII 68B 51 09(Yak × King Tut) × Shammarello OPEphoto_1 | photo_2
VIII 69B 51 09(Yak × King Tut) × Shammarello OPEphoto
VIII 71B 51 09(Yak × King Tut) × Shammarello OPEphoto_1 | photo_2
VIII 73H 87Ice Cube × Scarlet WonderE 2nd genphoto_1 | photo_2
VIII 76not knownEphoto_1 | photo_2 | photo_3
VIII 77B 51 09(Yak × King Tut) × Shammarello OPEphoto_1 | photo_2
IX 5not knownEphoto_1 | photo_2
IX 7F 14 03(Yak × Bow Bells) × BVTEphoto_1 | photo_2
IX 8H 78America × Brachy WardiiEphoto_1 | photo_2
IX 10B 51 09(Yak × King Tut) × Shammarello OPEphoto_1 | photo_2
IX 28K 9 03BVT × Arboreum, EdinburghEphoto_1 | photo_2
IX 35D 23 03Catawbiense comp. × (BVT × Souleii)Ephoto_1 | photo_2
IX 43K 3 02(Faureii × Inamorata) × SmirnowiiEphoto
IX 48H 103(Smirnowii × Fortuneii) × CatalglaEphoto
IX 52K 3(Faureii × Inamorata) × SmirnowiiEphoto_1 | photo_2
IX 53K 3 07(Faureii × Inamorata) × SmirnowiiEphoto
IX 54not knownEphoto_1 | photo_2
IX 55not knownEphoto_1 | photo_2
IX 58not knownEphoto_1 | photo_2
IX 60not knownEphoto
IX 71H 19 02Steele's Augustinii × Dauricum SempervirensL 2nd genphoto_1 | photo_2
IX 76F 10 04Pinnacle × BVTEphoto_1 | photo_2
X 1F 14 03(Yak × Bow Bells) × BVTEphoto_1 | photo_2 | photo_3
X 5C 87 018Catawbiense compact × Yakushimanum Exb.Ephoto_1 | photo_2
X 7not knownEphoto_1 | photo_1
XI 5C 39 04Catawbiense comp × TreasureEphoto_1 | photo_2
XI 6H 3 02Nikomontanum × CowslipEphoto_1 | photo_2
XI 10not knownEphoto_1 | photo_2
XI 11F 12 01Janet Blair × BVTEphoto_1 | photo_2
XI 23C 87 017Catawbiense compact × Yakushimanum Exb.Ephoto_1 | photo_2
XI 24K 2 014Janet Blair × SmirnowiiEphoto_1 | photo_2
XI 27B 3 012Ice Cube × YakushimanumEphoto_1 | photo_2
XI 28C 94 02Pinnacle OPEphoto
XI 30H 61 02Mars × (Yak × Mars)Ephoto_1 | photo_2
XI 47K 3 09(Faureii × Inamorata) × SmirnowiiEphoto_1 | photo_2
XI 72not knownEphoto_1 | photo_2
XII 14not knownLphoto_1 | photo_2 | photo_3
XII 15L 14Fletcherianum ‘Yellow Bunting’ × Dauricum ‘Arctic Pearl’Lphoto_1 | photo_2 | photo_3
XIII 28not knownEphoto_1 | photo_2
XIII 35B 40 02Mrs Sargent × Janet BlairEphoto_1 | photo_2
XIII 35Anot knownEphoto
XIII 36F 13Mars × BVTEphoto_1 | photo_2
XIV 9B 102 05Fauriei × InamorataEphoto_1 | photo_2
XIV 10B 41 01Mrs Sargent × YakushimanumEphoto
XIV 11B 40 07Mrs Sargent × Janet BlairEphoto_1 | photo_2
XIV 13K 2 04Janet Blair × SmirnowiiEphoto_1 | photo_2
XIV 20B 71 04Hobbie (original Wada seeds) OPEphoto_1 | photo_2
XIV 22H 3 02Nikomontanum × CowslipEphoto_1 | photo_2
XIV 23C 64 0209Catalgla × TreasureEphoto_1 | photo_2
XIV 26not knownEphoto_1 | photo_2
XIV 28B 3 013Ice Cube × YakushimanumEphoto_1 | photo_2
XIV 29K 2 01Janet Blair × SmirnowiiEphoto_1 | photo_2
XIV 34C 98 01Metternichii, Mt. Mimata form, ARS, Dr. RokujoEphoto_1 | photo_2
XIV 39J 6 01Carolinianum (album) × MoupinenseLphoto_1 | photo_2
XIV 42not knownEphoto_1 | photo_2
XIV 47F 32 01Racemosum (Kolaga) × LapponicumL 2nd genphoto_1 | photo_2
XIV 53not knownLphoto_1 | photo_2
XIV 58F 13 03Mars × BVTEphoto_1 | photo_2
XIV 69not knownLphoto_1 | photo_2

Project Background

The Brueckner Test Project was developed by the Rhododendron Society of Eastern Canada, Niagara Region Chapter (NRC). This multi-site, 5 year, cross-border project seeks to evaluate the horticultural merit of 100 rhododendron hybrids from the private collection developed by the late Dr. Joseph Brueckner, in Mississauga, Ontario.

Dr. Brueckner’s prodigious hybridizing program sought to develop rhododendrons that had all the attributes of showy plants but were also cold hardy and suitable for a range of Canadian climates. Although some of Dr.Brueckner’s early introductions have been commercially available for many years (26 rhododendrons are named and registered with the RHS) few others of his thousands of crosses were known beyond the original plants often growing in only a handful of gardens. There was growing concern that these plants could be lost to the horticultural world if steps were not taken to propagate and further evaluate them while the mother plants were still available. It was agreed that a formal and structured evaluation of these plants should be undertaken to more thoroughly assess their cold hardiness and horticultural merit across a range of garden environments.

The initial launch of the Brueckner project in 2011 introduced a formal plant evaluation process which was well received by the NRC membership, demonstrating the willingness of home gardeners to seriously participate in such a project. This opened an opportunity for the NRC to offer its members the exclusive option to purchase plants and monitor their performance as part of an initial 3 year evaluation project. This embryonic stage in the project (Phase 1) helped increase membership in the Chapter and attracted new funding for the project.

Phase 2 was initiated in 2016 as a 5 year evaluation project with the added benefit of participation by six horticultural institutions: Montreal Botanical Garden, PQ; Holden Arboretum, Ohio; The Riverwood Conservancy, Mississauga, ON; Memorial University of Nfld Botanical Garden; South Coast Gardens, St. Williams, ON; Chafe Nursery and Farm, Parham, ON; Humber Arboretum, Toronto, ON. Home garden participants include members of both the Société des rhododendrons du Québec and NRC. Both institutional partners and NRC member participants had the opportunity to share early experience in the project and help with planning next steps at a Symposium held in 2017. Evaluation criteria have subsequently been refined and a process for online digital data collection and analysis is in preparation.

Test plants will be evaluated for cold-hardiness, heat tolerance, bud hardiness, growth rate, disease resistance, flowering capacity, foliage retention, and other criteria. Along with these measures of plant performance the evaluation protocol seeks to measure a range of environmental and climate variables in each test location. In addition, participants are requested to profile the planting location and soil type, record the local weather conditions, soil amendments, irrigation methods, and to note anything else of significance that they feel may have impacted their plants’ performance.

To create sufficient numbers of plants for these garden trials, cuttings were collected from the original plants bred by Dr. Brueckner (each with a unique genotype), sent to Van Veen Nursery for rooting and then returned to Canada where they were potted by volunteer NRC members, and nurtured for one year at South Coast Gardens as established viable plants for subsequent distribution. By summer 2016, there were more than 650 young plants ready for entry into these garden trials. The termination of the test period will see all individual results collated and used torate plant performance. It is our hope that the results will reveal, in addition to top performers, valuable and reliable plant descriptions and requirements for good plant performance among the entire collection of hybrids.

To our knowledge this is the first time such a multi-site testing of rhododendrons employing the combined participation of both individual gardeners and institutions has been attempted in Canada. The project has received encouraging support through a grant from the Test & Display Garden Committee of the American Rhododendron Society (ARS). It is hoped that preliminary evaluation results can be shared at the 2021 ARS International Convention to be held in Nova Scotia.