Red Rhododendron Cornubia

 Getting very tall.
Red Rhododendron Cornubia

Cornubia is one of the first red rhododendrons to flower in New Zealand. I planted mine thirteen years ago, and it has been very slow to become established - ten years with very little to show, very few photographs or mentions. Finally it's doing the business, putting on a stunning flowering show in late winter.

Blood red flowers

The flowers are a clear blood red, and for me the shrub is tall (about three meters high) and just a little bit straggly - 'erect and open' in habit, according to one of the local rhododendron nurseries.

I've looked up its parentage. 'Rhododendron ‘Cornubia’ is a cross between three red flowering species R. arboreum ssp. arboreum, which flowers early to mid season, R. thomsonii, sometimes flowering early, but usually mid to late season and R. barbatum from very early to mid season. As a result, R. 'Cornubia' can flower from late June to late September, or even early October.'

Thanks to the Dunedin Botanical Gardens for this. They have an Rhododendron Dell, full of huge, well established shrubs. These months are, of course, New Zealand months, where mid-winter is in the middle of June.

As often happens in my garden, by luck and chance I planted Cornubia in a great location. Walking the dogs down the driveway on the wettest and muddiest of late winter days, there it is. So beautiful! But definitely needing space to sprawl, and a gardener who has decades (well, at least one decade) of patience.