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<< Thursday, March 27, 2014 >>


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Sorting out the Genus Rhododendron: A Taxonomic Overview of this Large Complex of Species

Lecture | March 27 | 10 a.m.-12 p.m. |  UC Botanical Garden | Note change in date


Botanical Garden


There are 1,024 naturally occurring, mostly Asian, species of rhododendrons, the largest genus in the Ericaceae, or heath family. How are all these magnificently diverse plants classified, and by what criteria do the botanists even begin to separate them? Now, with genetic and chemical analyses, their relationships to each other are becoming clearer. Learn about the unique morphological features which have been used in rhododendron taxonomy, and the latest work being done to clarify the different species’ scientific placement within the genus with Garden Horticulturist Elaine Sedlack. After a short historical introduction with a bit about botanical art, the slide presentation will illustrate (literally) the overall evolutionary trend of the genus. By showing approximately 2/3 of the type species of the different subsections and subgenera in taxonomic order (including plants from other genera which have recently been placed in Rhododendron), we will arrive at a simplified understanding of this large genus.

Elaine Sedlack is past President and Program Chairperson of the California Chapter of American Rhododendron Society, currently serving on the Board. She is also on the Board of the Rhododendron Species Foundation in Federal Way, Washington, and holds memberships in the Maple Society, the International Dendrology Society, and the Northern California Unit of the Herb Society of America. She is the horticulturist in charge of the Asian collection and two herb gardens at the UC Botanical Garden, which she has been maintaining and developing since 1984.


 $25, $20 members

Register online, or by calling 510-642-7082, or by emailing gardenprograms@berkeley.edu.


gardenprograms@berkeley.edu, 510-642-7082