H: Sunday, October 31, 2010

Rhododendron maximum 'Kalamity' is a Diploid

Rhododendron maximum 'Kalamity' has been determined to be a diploid using flow cytometry by

Dr. João Loureiro, Dr. Silvia Castro, José Cerca, and Mariana Castro
Plant Ecology and Evolution Group,
Centre for Functional Ecology,
Department of Life Sciences,
Faculty of Science and Technology,
University of Coimbra, Portugal.

Rhododendron maximum 'Kalamity', which was found growing native in North Carolina, is a maximum that by initial appearances could pass for a Kalmia latifolia. At the Arnold Arboretum, 'Kalamity' is planted among the Kalmia latifolia and blends in so well most visitors to the Arnold fail to notice it despite being planted in the front row along a major pathway.

Rhododendron maximum 'Kalamity' was originally documented as a cross between Rhododendron maximum X Kalmia latifolia. However DNA research by Grant, Toomey, and Culham has clearly shown that 'Kalamity' is merely an odd looking Rhododendron maximum having the "normal" DNA associated with the species Rhododendron maximum.

'Kalmia X Rhododendron is a Myth'

'Kalmia X Rhododendron Debunked'

Summary of Ploidy Levels

Diploid Rhododendron maximum 'Kalamity'

Source: Arnold Arboretum Accession Number: 194-82-A

John and Sally Perkins
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