A WORD ABOUT WESTON NURSERIES’ NEW WEB PLANT LIBRARY
by Dirk Coburn, M.C.H.
Weston Nurseries has a history of using the word “Azalea” as one uses the name of a plant genus. However, the genus of all azaleas is really — Rhododendron!
There are technical reasons for calling some rhododendrons “azaleas” but not others. The major reason is that most azaleas have 5 stamens and most rhododendrons have 10 stamens. That distinction held true for all azaleas and was a major reason for the original distinction made in the 18th century between azaleas and rhododendrons.
In our day botanists recognize all azaleas as rhododendrons, but not all rhododendrons as azaleas. So azaleas are not in fact a genus but rather a sub-group of species and hybrids within the Rhododendron genus. As you can see, this topic gets arcane pretty quickly. So why do I even bring it up?
Weston Nurseries has adopted a new plant library for our web site. This library offers several important improvements over the previous library. It will give customers the ability to create their own lists of plants: wish lists, design lists, research lists, shopping lists. The new library has a photo for each plant in it. Here at the Garden Center we are using the library to print our signs that identify our plants in the tree and shrub yard.
Azaleas in the library (and on our signs) will be identified with the word “azalea” in the common name and with a botanical name indicating “Rhododendron” as the genus. This is a change for Weston Nurseries, and it brings us in line with the mainstream of botanical and horticultural terminology.
Whether they are rhododendrons or azaleas, Weston Nurseries developed many of the best of them. We are still delighted, and a little proud, to invite you to come to our Garden Centers for such outstanding landscape shrubs as PJM, Olga Mezitt, Purple Gem, Red Quest, Blue Baron, Tapestry, Weston’s Innocence, Weston’s Lemon Drop, and much more.
Visit our new Plant Library!