FORTUNE'S RHODODENDRON Rhododendron fortunei
Europe has just nine native species of rhododendron; China has more than 600.
When China's floral bounty became available to Western horticulturists in the
mid-19th century following the end of hostilities between Britain and China,
rhododendrons became highly sought after because many could survive harsh
winters. The Scottish plant collector Robert Fortune discovered this species in
1856, growing at 3,000 feet in the mountains of eastern China. It was the first
Chinese rhododendron introduced to Britain and has spawned hundreds of