'Irina' was selected by the Latvian Professor Rihards Kondratovičs from seedlings grown from open pollinated Catawba Rhododendron (R. catawbiense) seed. It produces abundant violet-red flowers in June. So far there is little experience of this cultivar in Finland but it is probably similar to the parent R. catawbiense in habit and hardiness.
'Irina' grows to about 1.5m in ten years, though at Mustila the snow depresses the branches; this provides winter protection but also makes the shrub look rather straggly. In good years it is full of blossoms.