The Rhododendron, Camellia & Magnolia Group

Three groups of plants – one group of enthusiasts worldwide

Book Downloads

Rhododendrons 1972 with Magnolias and Camellias

The 1972 edition of the yearbook represents a milestone in the Group's evolution. The fact that it was published at all is remarkable. A hardback edition of the Rhododendron Year Book had been published since 1946 but in 1971 the RHS took the decision to cease its production, along with the other specialist titles for Daffodils and Lilies.

With limited resources, the Rhododendron Group at the time decided to attempt a small publication under its own auspices, succeeding in producing the title now made available for your interest and enjoyment. So few copies were printed and such was its quality that it has become a real rarity, creating a problem for those who seek a continuous run of books. It is hoped this digital copy will make amends and suffice until 'real' copies become available.

You may download it here Warning it is 14 MB in size.


The Rhododendron Society Notes

The Rhododendron Society was the forerunner of the Rhododendron, Camellia and Magnolia Group. Formed in 1915 by Charles Eley, J G Millais and PD Williams, one of the conditions of membership was the requirement to contribute occasional notes about the burgeoning number of new species of rhododendrons and the developing skills required to grow them successfully. These offerings were collated and published in fifteen parts – three volumes of five parts each – between 1917 and 1931.

Only published for the Society’s limited membership, original copies are scarce and expensive but they contain much of interest for current growers and students of rhododendron history alike. Fortunately, this continuing value was recognised in 1976 by the Pacific Rhododendron Society, based in Tacoma, Washington, USA, which produced a facsimile copy of each part.

The Group has been given permission to scan and publish the facsimile edition online by Fred Whitney – the last remaining officer of the Pacific Rhododendron Society. Without this it is unlikely that the project would have come to fruition as the inevitable damage to original bound copies in the scanning process would have been unthinkable.

These Notes will be published online on an occasional basis as the work to scan them is completed. Your patience whilst this process is taking place is requested.
Until now these works have only been accessible to the lucky few; the various permissions that the Group has received make this online publication freely available to all.

You may download the Notes by clicking on the approprate PDF icon below.

Volume I No. I - 1916
Volume I No. II - 1917
Volume I No. III - 1917
Volume I No. IV - 1918
Volume I No. V - 1919
INDEX to Volume I - 1916-1919
Volume II No. I - 1920
Volume II No. II - 1921
Volume II No. III - 1922
Volume II No. IV - 1923
Volume II No. V - 1924
INDEX to Volume II - 1920-1924
Volume III No. I - 1925
Volume III No. II - 1926
Volume III No. III - 1927
Volume III No. IV - 1928
Volume III No. V - 1929-1931
INDEX to Volume III - 1925-1931


The Rhododendron Story

200 Years of Plant Hunting and Garden Cultivation Edited by Cynthia Postan

Published in 1996 to celebrate half a century of the Rhododendron Yearbook, this publication gives a marvellous insight into the world of rhododendrons and the people who helped create it. 224pp.

It is now out of print but we are fortunate to have been given permission to make it freely available to our members in PDF form.

You may download the book here WARNING it is 54MB in size so will take some time to download.
Alternatively you may choose to download the individual chapters which are around 4MB each.

Chapter 1: Habitat and Ecology: Changes over 200 years
Chapter 2: The Taxonomy of the Genus: a History
Chapter 3: The Importance of the Herbarium
Chapter 4: Nomenclature: an Ordered Universe
Chapter 5: Hooker’s Rhododendrons: Their Distribution and Survival
Chapter 6: The Irresistible Spread of the Rhododendron in British Gardens
Chapter 7: The Vireya Story
Chapter 8: Collector’s Techniques: Then and Now
Chapter 9: Hybrids for a Cold Climate: the Seidels
Chapter 10: Hybrids in the British Isles: the Nineteenth Century
Chapter 11: Hybrids in the United States of America
Chapter 12: Deciduous Azaleas: the Hybrids
Chapter 13: Evergreen Azaleas: the Hybrids
Chapter 14: Rhododendrons in British Gardens: a Short History
Chapter 15: Rhododendron Lovers in the British Isles
Chapter 16: Rhododendron Lovers Around the World