December’s plant of the month is full of Christmas Cheer – literally!
Rhododendron ‘Christmas Cheer’
The tight pink buds appeared at the end of November blooming into heads made of several, mostly white, bell-shaped flowers.
‘Christmas Cheer’ is an old hybrid descended from the mauve Rhododendron you see in woodland. One of its parents is the now rare hardy dwarf shrub that grows above the tree line and was discovered by Russian traveller Count Apollo Apollosovich Mussin-Puschkin, who sent it back to Kew in 1803. It was crossed with another, unrecorded, parent plant -and the result was Christmas Cheer.
This is the last entry for our Plant Personality of The Year awards. Monday 15th December is when the award ceremony will start, follow #Plantawards2014 on Twitter for all the latest news as it breaks live from backstage of the award ceremony (or my office as its sometimes called)