I tagged along while Douglas was leading a walkabout with the Horticulture Training Program students this afternoon, camera in-hand. I’d say all of the students with cameras stopped to take a photograph of this rhododendron. So, I did too. It’s been a goal this year to make sure I have my camera with me while walking in the Garden for other tasks, be it for safety inspections or interviews or general walk-abouts, and it is revealed in the quantity of photos so far this year: roughly 3500 (many of these are duplicates, though, to attempt to improve focus or composition). That’s ahead of my usual pace in a calendar year (from 9000 to 10500 in each of the last 4 years), as I’ve not had any significant travels for photography yet.
This is an as-yet-unidentified specimen belonging to Rhododendron, subgenus Rhododendron, section Rhododendron, subsection Triflora. With approximately a thousand species in this highly ornamental genus, rhododendron taxonomists and specialists generally find it easiest to work with a hierarchical subgeneric (below genus level) taxonomy. Norman Todd, a Victoria (Canada) rhododendron enthusiast, wrote about subsection Triflora for the Victoria Rhododendron Society: T is for Triflora.