Rhododendron Bruce Brechtbill
- Broadleaf evergreen shrub, 4 ft (1.2 m), dense, symmetrical. It is a sport of Unique to which it appears identical until it blooms; compare flowers and compare flowering plants. Flowers openly funnel-shaped, wavy lobes, about 7 cm across, pale pink with light yellow throat. In spherical clusters of 10-12 flowers.
- -5° F, early-mid, 3-4/5/4 [flower/plant & foliage/performance; scale 1 (poor) - 5 (best)]. Sun to part shade; can take heat.
- The story of the 'Bruce Brechtbill' rhododendron:
The plant originated at Brechtbill’s Nursery in Eugene, Oregon. In the spring of 1965, a branch with pink flowers was noticed on a single 'Unique' plant by Mark
Bloom, now of Bloom River Gardens, who as a teenager worked at Brechtbill’s Nursery. He pointed this branch
sport out to the owner, Bruce Brechtbill, and in the fall of that year three cuttings were taken from this
sport. In time the resulting plants all yielded pink flowers. In subsequent years, Mr. Brechtbill distributed
plants to other nurserymen, including the well-known rhododendron growers Harold Greer of Eugene, Oregon and
Bruce Briggs of Olympia, Washington.
Mr. Brechtbill died in 1973 and his wife Dee asked Mark Bloom to take over
management of the nursery until the property was sold. Mark came to realize that the new
rhododendron had never been registered. He and Dee selected the name ‘Brechtbill's Unique’ for
registration but were told that the name ‘Unique’ could not be used since it was already a registered name.
Dee then asked Harold Greer to propagate and register the plant and in the spring of 1974 the
plant registration was resubmitted under the name ‘Bruce Brechtbill’in honor of the late nurseryman.
- Corvallis: along River Front Park, 1st Street.
- Oregon State Univ. campus: north side of east extension to Burt Hall (Oceanography).