The Rhododendron, Camellia & Magnolia Group

Three groups of plants – one group of enthusiasts worldwide

Book Downloads

The International Rhododendron Register and Checklist Second Edition 2004

The International Rhododendron Register and Checklist Second Edition was published in two volumes in 2004. It has not been revised or reprinted. Instead, omissions, corrections and additions have been published annually as Supplements. They are available for download here or on the RHS website

IMPORTANT: The 2004 Register should be read in conjunction with its later Supplements and if certain data is of particular importance, checks should be made that further updates have not been made to an entry. Should uncorrected errors be noticed, unrecorded information be known which might be relevant or of interest, or queries arise from entries, it is important to contact the International Rhododendron Registrar, who is keen to ensure the Register is as complete and accurate as possible.
The International Rhododendron Registrar, The Royal Horticultural Society's Garden, Wisley, Woking, Surrey, GU23 6QB, UK.

We are grateful to the Royal Horticultural Society for granting the Group permission to offer this publication digitally whilst an online service to the International Rhododendron Register database is developed.

The Register is offered here in two volumes exactly as the printed edition and also as a single volume although please take note that the files are large! It has been scanned and converted into searchable text using OCR technology. It is NOT perfect but it is hoped that it is sufficiently accurate to allow meaningful research.
Until now the Register has only been available to those who purchased the printed edition. Thanks to the generosity of the RHS, it is now made freely available to all for information and research. .

The Register is a detailed directory of registered hybrids and selections of rhododendrons (including azaleas, azaleodendrons and vireyas) representing the careful assembly of records compiled over more than a century and a half. The system of notation used to standardise entries has inevitably led to the use of abbreviations and the presentation of each entry in a precise order which needs explanation for the first time user. For the reader's convenience, A Companion Guide to Using the Register has been produced which can be printed out or opened on-screen to refer to alongside the main files.

Register Volume 1 A-Lel (58Mb)
Register Volume 2 Lem-Z (58Mb)
Register Single Volume (116Mb)
Companion Guide to Using the Register



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