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Plants auctioned at September 2015 meeting.
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Lonnie Player

Fayetteville, North Carolina

          Lonnie Player is a noted rhododendron hybridizer in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and we are fortunate to have him as one of our chapter members.    These plants include some of Lonnie's choice hybrids, and several have R. hyperythrum in their parentage, giving both heat/drought resistance and cold tolerance.

Martha Player
Code Player 2-98-2; cross Mrs. Sam x. R. hyperythrum Nelson; the seed parent, Mrs. Sam, has light pink fading to white flowers and is believed to be a cross between R. maximum and R. catawbrense; Martha Player has white flowers with red spots in the throat, blooms midseason 7 feet x 7 feet in 17 years, is registered, is heat tolerant and believed to be cold hardy as well.
Lonnie Player

 
Kaye Player
"If you want wonderful foliage, lots of blooms, and full trusses that are a blend of white to fushia pink with a dark blotch,(and who wouldn't?)this is the Rhododendron for you!! A very exciting new plant. ("Jean Marie de Montague' x fortunei hybrid)."   
Description by Harold Greer.  
Mrs. Sam

Not registered, hybridizer unknown, believed to be a cross between R. catawbrense and R. maximum; very hardy, vigorous grower and heat tolerant; blooms late but when crossed with early bloomers produces plants that bloom midseason; light pink blooms that quickly fade to white; like Maxcat except for flower color; not available in trade but Player believes valuable for vigor and heat tolerance breeding.
Lonnie Player

 

 

Mrs. Sam left, Maxicat right
Both Mrs. Sam and Maxecat bloom at the same time, have like foliage, blotch and growth habit.  The difference, as I see it, Maxecat has pink flowers while Mrs. Sam flowers are light pink fading to white.  My Mrs. Sam plants are from cuttings I acquired from Joe Austin Nursey, Four Oaks, NC, in the early 1970’s.  Joe, now deceased said he purchased the original plant at a nursery bankruptcy sale in Atlantic Highlands, NJ in the late 1960’s and moved it to Four Oaks.  When I acquired cuttings from it ,it was about 6 feet tall , as I remember.  Joe said it was not registered and had been called “Pink and White” and “Mrs. Sam” named in honor of the wife of senator Sam Rayburn  I find it an excellent seed and pollen parent for heat tolerance and for vigor.  It blooms late in the season but when crossed with an early bloomer it produces plants that bloom midseason.  I regret that all I have available now are one gallon size plants.  I hope that the seven I am bringing to the sale end up in the hands of club hybridizers.

Player 2-98-1

Not registered; a plant from the same cross that produced Martha Player; it has glossy foliage, 5.5 feet x 5 feet in 17 years, flower truss similar but not quite as large as Martha Player, heat tolerant, blooms one week after Martha Player; some plants have been distributed using the name Mary Lou but that name abandoned due to conflict with other plant in Europe with that name, new name not yet selected.
Lonnie Player

Player 4-02-3

Not registered;[(Mrs. Sam x Koichiro Wada) x R. hyperythrum, Nelson]; very compact, 3 ft. x 3 ft. in  13 years, white flower much like R. hyperythrum, Nelson; early midseason.
Lonnie Player

 

                                   Cape Fear Gold
Deciduous azalea; code Player 1 - 79 -1; (R. austrinum x R. calendulacum); clear yellow; easy to grow in Fayetteville, N. C.; 8 ft. x 8 ft. in 25 years; easy to propagate by root division; Player has had some limited success with traditional rooting methods but tried for the first time this year the method developed by Earl Sommerville with very encouraging results.  About 90% of cuttings have rooted and put on new growth since early spring 2015.
Lonnie Player

 

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