'Marketta' is an erect Finnish variety with a rounded crown. Its large pink flowers open from purple-red buds in early June. The edges of the petals are darker, and the upper petal is spotted with dark red.
'Marketta', a cross between two hybrids growing at Mustila, was planted in the Arboretum about 1980 with other plants in trials related to a breeding programme. It wasn’t named as a variety until 2005. The colour and form of the flowers, together with the foliage, show similarities to Smirnow’s rhododendron (R. smirnowii), from which ‘Marketta’ has probably also inherited its winter hardiness.
'Marketta' grows robustly, achieving about 1,5m in a decade. After this, growth slows. The original shrub has stopped growing at about 2 metres. It flowers abundantly every year, despite being in fairly deep shade.