Emu Valley Newsletter – November 2018
There are many scented rhododendrons growing at Emu Valley with the lepidotes starting the season off in September and the elepidotes from mid season to the end of January. Some are quite subtle while others are very strong; R. taggianum is definitely in the latter group.
R. taggianum was first discovered by Farrer in 1920 at Kum La Bum northeast Upper Burma and a few years later by other collectors in Upper Burma and Yunnan growing on the margins of conifer and spruce forests. Forrest introduced western gardens to this splendid rhododendron in September 1924 from Yunnan
and by the same collector in 1925 from northeast Upper Burma.
R. taggianum is a broadly upright shrub to 1.5 metres with shiny oblong-lanceolate dark green bullate leaves; the large white flowers cover the entire bush and show off the deep yellow blotch to perfection. The perfume is something to experience as it pervades a large area somewhat similar to R. nuttallii.
If the pristine white flowers of R. taggianum do not attract your attention as you walk through Yunnan or Burma the beautiful perfume will. It is a bit late now to enjoy this interesting plant but next year keep an eye open from early October.
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