The Yak rhododendron varieties have gained great popularity during recent decades, particularly in small gardens, thanks to their dense, round habit. ‘Mist Maiden’ is one of the hardiest of the group. It was registered by the American David Leach, who obtained Yak seed (R. degronianum subsp. yakushimanum, syn. R. yakushimanum) from England, and was convinced that his ‘Pink Parasol’ and ‘Mist Maiden’ were selections from this seed, and not hybrids. However, there seems to be some doubt about the seeds having been the true species, as these varieties show characteristics indicating the involvement of Smirnow’s rhododendron (R. smirnowii).
’Mist Maiden’ flowers glowing pink in June, the blossoms gradually turning white. When flowering is over, new growth is covered in white down, almost like a second flowering. The down on the leaf undersides improves drought hardiness and ‘Mist Maiden’ thrives in more open spots than most rhododendrons – in full light it will flower more abundantly.'Mist Maiden' is dense, beautifully rounded and slow-growing, reaching less than a metre in ten years, though given time it can reach about 1.5 metres.