Rhododendron 'Ken Janeck'

'Ken Janeck' is one on the best and hardiest Yak hybrids. In the rhododendron register it is entered as a selected seedling of yakushimanum (R. degronianum subsp. yakushimanum) but is has been suggested that in fact it might be a hybrid, with Smirnow Rhododendron (R. smirnowii) as the other parent. Whatever the truth, 'Ken Janeck' is definitely hardier than most Yak hybrids.

The leaf undersides of 'Ken Janeckin' are covered in thick indumentum, which improves the shrub’s performance in full sun, where it also flowers well if the roots are kept moist. It should not be planted in deep shade. The red buds open in early June, pink at first but gradually changing to white. In July the shrub is full of new felted shoots, almost like a second flowering.

'Ken Janeck' grows slowly, to less than a metre in ten years, but given time can reach 1.5m. At Mustila 'Ken Janeck' is still only about half a metre tall after 10 years, which means it is well protected in winter, and the flowering lives up to its reputation.


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