Professor Rihards Kondratovičs of Latvia University produced this variety by putting pollen from the hybrid ’Purple Splendour’ onto the Catawba Rhododendron (R. catawbiense). The result of this crossing has dark violet flowers with a darker blotch on the upper petal.
'Eduards Smiļģis' grows to about 2m in 10 years. So far there has been little experience with the hybrid in Finland so its complete winter hardiness is still uncertain.
At Mustila, 'Eduards Smiļģis' was first planted in 2001; it has survived at least under snow cover and even flowered. However, it has to compete with grasses, and has remained low and spindly.