Rhododendron 'Babītes Baltais'

'Babītes Baltais' is a rhododendron cultivar hybridised by Professor Rihards Kondratovičs from the University of Latvia in Riga. Its mother plant was the white-flowered 'Cunningham's White' and the pollinator a rhododendron with red flowers from the Elizabeth Group.

The white flowers are fairly large and have beautiful yellow-green spotting on the upper lobe. Kondratovičs was presumably aiming at a hybrid with red flowers, but hybridising does sometimes present these surprises where the genes of one cultivar or its parents, in this case on the maternal side, are stronger than those of the other.

This rhododendron grows to a height of about two metres in 10 years. Due to short experience of this hybrid in Finland its ability to survive really harsh winters remains to be seen. 'Babītes Baltais' has, however, thrived and even flowered at Mustila since the beginning of this century.


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