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Rhododendron 'Belle Heller'

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'Belle Heller' is a cultivar bred by the American A. Shamarello. With trusses of large white flowers dotted with a golden yellow blotch it is regarded as the best white-flowered hybrid in the Southeast US. Both parents have genes from R. catawbiense, and the shrub resembles the well known 'Catawbiense Grandiflorum' in its leaves and growth. In favourable conditions 'Belle Heller' will grow to a height of about 1.5 metres in 10 years.

There is not yet much growing experience of 'Belle Heller' in Finland due to poor availability. The flower buds tend to get frostbitten in South Ontario and it is doubtful whether the hybrid will survive without a protective snow cover. 'Belle Heller' has nevertheless been growing at Mustila Arboretum since the early years of the 21st century, so far overwintering well below a thick layer of snow, and it has sometimes even flowered.