Wilson 50

This group of Azaleas the first to be introduced into cultivation in Europe/United States by E. H. Wilson when he visited Kurume (Japan) in 1918. Two sets of these fifty varieties (out of the 250 then grown) were bought by him for the Arnold Arboretum, where they were propagated and further distributed. Wilson gave English names to his fifty, which are not translations from the Japanese but invented by him. They are rarely used, the Japanese names being more memorable, even if difficult to pronounce correctly.

They are not widely grown, partly because they are thought to be tender. A few are definitely tender, but these have mostly dropped out of commerce; the rest are hardier than generally supposed, though like many other ever­green azaleas they may suffer damage from frost when young. The flowers are small, but borne in wonderful profusion in late September or October. In several varieties the calyx is petaloid, i.e., converted into a sort of outer corolla, colored and marked like the true corolla. Although the result of several generations of breeding, they have retained the dense and comparatively dwarf habit of their wild ancestors. They tolerate full sun, and woodland conditions are quite alien to their nature.e colour range, from white through to pink, red purple and multi-colours on the one flower.

Here at Blackwood Ridge we are collecting the entire wilson 50 one plant at a time and hope to have them available over the next few years, once seen these Azaleas will capture your heart and amaze the senses they must been seen to fully appreciate the beauty of centuries of breeding of these truly garden treasures.

The Wilson 50

“In the garden of Mr. Akashi I selected and obtained a double set of the under- mentioned fifty varieties of these Azaleas which I consider the best, and these safely reached the Arnold Arboretum on April 24, 1919. The names are those of the originator, Akashi, and therefore authentic. The plants will be propagated and distributed under these names and, owing to the reprehensible habit of changing names by Japanese nurserymen, will probably remain the only set with standard names in existence.” E H Wilson – Plant Hunter

No. 1. SEIKAI flowers white, hose-in-hose

2. KURENO YUKI flowers white, hose-in-hose

3. SHIN SEIKAI flowers creamy white, hose-in-hose

4. YOROZUYO flowers white

5. NANI WAGATA flowers white, suffused with salmon-pink

6. TANCHO flowers flesh-color, hose-in-hose

7. HACHIKA TSUGI flowers white, suffused with lavender

8. IROHAYAMA . flowers white, margined with pale lavender

9. Hoo flowers white, tinged with pink

10. STJIYOHI flowers flesh-color

11. TAKASAGO flowers pale pink, the color of apple-blossoms

12. KASUMI GASEKI flowers pale pink

13. BIJINSUI flowers pale pink

14. ASAGASUMI flowers rose-pink, hose-in-hose

15. KIMIGAYO flowers pink

16. AZUMA KAGAMI flowers deep pink, hose-in-hose

17. OSARAKU flowers white, suffused and margined with lavender

18. OTOME flowers blush pink

19. AYA KAMMURI flowers rose-color

20. SHINTOKI No HAGASANE . flowers rose, shading to pink, hose-in-hose

21. SAOTOME flowers rose-color

22. KIRIN flowers deep rose, shading to silvery rose

23. TAMAFUYO flowers white, striped peach-color

24. KIRITSUBO flowers rosy mauve

25. OMOINE flowers pale lavender

26. OINO MEZAME flowers deep rose-color

27. KATSURA No HANA . . . flowers rose-color

28. SHIN UTENA flowers pale salmon

29. KUMO No UYE flowers pure salmon

30. BENIFUDE flowers salmon

31. SUGA No ITO flowers pure pink

32. KASANE KAGARIBI …. flowers dull salmon-red

33. TSTJTA MOMIJI flowers bright red

34. SUETSUMU flowers crimson

35. FUDESUTE YAM A flowers light red

36. IMA SHOJO flowers bright red, hose-in-hose

37. RASHO MON flowers scarlet

38. WAKA KAYEDE flowers red

39. YAYEHIRYU flowers bright scarlet, hose-in-hose

40. KURAI No HIMO flowers carmine, hose-in-hose

41. AGEMAKI flowers carmine

42. HINODEGIRI flowers bright crimson

43. AIOI flowers color of almond-blossoms, hose-in-hose

44. SAKURA TSUKASA. . . . , flowers rosy mauve

45. TAMA No UTENA flowers pale salmon

46. GOSHO ZAKURA flowers white, striped peach-color

47. UKAMUSE flowers vermilion, hose-in-hose

48. HINODE No TAKA …. flowers crimson

49. OSARAKU SEEDLING . . . flowers white, suffused and margined with lavender

50. HANA ASOBI flowers red