'Elviira' is a low red-flowered hybrid bred at Mustila by pollinating the Mustila Rhododendron (R. brachycarpum var. tigerstedtii) with pollen from a red-flowered low-growing hybrid of Forrest Rhododendron (R. forrestii var. repens). ‘Elviira’ flowers cherry red in mid-May, and grows to about 60 cms in 10 years.
This hybrid has proved rather difficult to grow and suffers spring damage, especially if the situation is too open. With deep winter snow cover it seems to thrive right up into northern Finland.
It has proved demanding at Mustila, too. However, near the Tigerstedt family graves on Pohjoisrinne (Northern Slope), where there is deep snow and shade in winter, but persistent moisture and abundant light in summer, ’Elviira’ excels, developing a bushy habit and flowering well. The more recent plantings in Alppiruusulaakso (Rhododendron Valley) have been less successful.