Does anyone know a source of this Rhododendron 'Chikor'
Any info would be great.
Chikor is a tender yellow. I can't imagine it growing in zone 5 NH outside a greenhouse. You will have to order it from a warmer climate like:
Greer Gardens in Eugene, Oregon
Rhododendron ÂChikorÂ Â (rupicola var. chryseum x ludlowii) 18", 0Â°F, EM, 4-5/4. A fine, true yellow dwarf rhododendron from Peter Cox in Scotland. The intricate, twiggy stems make this plant appear like a tree in miniature. Winter weather brings a bronze-red coloration to the foliage that contrasts well with accompanying winter greens.
Even Hank Schannen at RareFind in New Jersey doesn't list it for sale.
PS: I just looked up Chikor in Ken Cox's book, Rhododendron & Azaleas, a colour guide.
It is his family's plant, the first in their bird series. He says:
It "needs cool roots and moist, but well-drained soil. Good in Scotland (zone 7) but rather a struggle in the Pacific Northwest (zone 6). Not very suited to container production."
Thank You Rhodyman. What comes close to 'Chikor' then ?
If Mr. Cox is referring to Scotland as 7 and PNW as 6, he's using Sunset Zoning so even further from z5NH in temperatures. We're USDA Z8 here in Western Washington and as close as I am to the ocean I'm really Z8b - haven't grown Chikor however so I couldn't tell you if it struggles :)
Yellow and New Hampshire are a stretch. The rhododendron search feature on the American Rhododendron Society website lists a number of "hardy" "yellows":
Hardy Yellow Rhododendrons
Capistrano is probably the yellowest, but is very hard to keep alive and the flowers usually look ragged. Many people try it over and over. Casanova is probably the best one to try. It is not as yellow but a much better plant.
For good hardy yellows, deciduous azaleas are the best. My favorite is Klondyke.
Here is a link that might be useful: American Rhododendron Society
Zone 7 = Scotland wouldn't be the Sunset Climate Zones either, nor would it be expected he'd be using those way over there - Sunset has never gone beyond North America with them. Sunset Climate Zone 7 is the hot summer climate of the Rogue Valley and Sierra Nevada foothills.
Presumably he was attempting to use USDA Hardiness Zones, and as is so often the case mistook the minimum temperature ranges indicated for these as reflecting the record lows rather than the average annual lows. Scotland = Zone 7 (average lows 0 to 10 degrees F.) and PNW = Zone 6 (average lows -10 to 0 degrees F.) is just plain wrong, period. Scotland ranges from cold mountain areas that would fall within USDA 7 to coastal strips as mild as those of California. Most rhododendron collections there would not be located in the colder interior. Likewise to get into Zone 6 here you have to go way up into the mountains. Most people in this area are gardening in Zone 8.
When I worked at a nursery in Tukwila, Wa., near Seattle over thirty years ago we grew Chikor. It didn't do too well. I doubt they have it now.