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Rhododendron Elsie Watson


Sudden death of one of my favourite rhododendrons.
Rhododendron ‘Elsie Watson’

A very nice hybrid from the famous Frank Fujioka in Seattle,(Washington)

It had a deep purpulish pink ruffled petals and was very showy with contrasting color along the edge of each petal.
Parentage (Seed Parent x Pollen Parent): Anna x Purple Lace

I was happy to find it after I read a story about the lady(Elsie Watson) herself who was a dedicated rhododendron hybridizer herself(for 40+years)

She was of Scandinavian origin and a founding member of the American Rhododendron Society.

Can only speculate but not exactly sure what happened…… and after searching on internet I got a feeling it will be hard to find it again around here.

New leaves in previous years

Last year at this time:

and today:


There are lots of pretty rhododendrons available but sometimes I buy plants for other reason than just their beauty and am very disappointed when they do not do well for me or even die. It is sort of personal and it is not the first time it happened to me.
Welcome to gardening Klahanie.

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Looks very sad,Klahanie...Strangely I have one in a similar condition. They do become very personal seeing them everyday and then suddenly.....hope you can find out the cause.

12 Apr, 2023


Sad that this has happened. Do you think it may revive somehow, if you cut it back maybe ?

I also buy plants for reasons other than beauty. Their name or history also appeals to me.

13 Apr, 2023


Thank you Julia. There are 3 more rhododendrons in the same bed. They all look fine. (so far). Couple of them were inherited. I planted this one many years ago. So hard to say what went wrong. Maybe more rain than usual?

Thank you for your comment Hywel. I will try to cut it down as you suggested and hope that it will revive.

13 Apr, 2023


I'm hoping you can work your magic, Klahanie. Fingers crossed.

14 Apr, 2023


Good luck with it, Klahanie. Lovely coloured one.

14 Apr, 2023


That's a beautiful Rhodie Klahanie. I don't remember seeing a frilly one before. I hope you can manage to save it. Its
very strange to see that happen all of a sudden.

14 Apr, 2023


Thank you all for your thoughts and comments.

14 Apr, 2023


That is sad Klahanie, that this one isn't looking too healthy this year. I wonder if anything is eating the roots? Or any animal using the area around it? The buds look healthy enough though..

4 May, 2023


Thank you for your thoughts Janey. We had a very wet spring this year but I probably will never find out what actually made it die.

6 May, 2023

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