|'Nuance' bears delightful pastel flowers that are a mixture of pink, orange, and yellow. There are between 500 and 900 species of evergreen and deciduous plants in the Rhododendron genus. Azaleas fall into this category. The evergreen rhododendron is characterized by medium to long, elliptical leaves and large, clustered, trusses of late, showy, spring to early summer flowers, ranging in colors from red, pink, white, lavenders, purples and even yellow and orange. Form may be low and mounding to gangly and almost tree-like with age. All rhododendrons love well-drained, acidic soil and should be planted high, preferably on raised beds. Partial shade is preferable too, though many plants grow quite well in full sun in cooler, more forgiving climates. In general, the evergreen rhododendron tends to do better in cooler areas of zone 7 and lower, thriving in the Appalachian Mountains and the Pacific Northwest.
Rhododendrons, as a genus, are divided into 5 groups: large-leaf evergreens (elepidotes) - the ironclad hybrids (hybrids between R. catawbiense, R. ponticum, R. caucasicum), Fortunei hybrids (tall and bushy, large flowers), Yakushimanum hybrids (low and compact) small-leaf evergreens (lepidote) - Hardy, low-growers include R. dauricum and R. minus Vireya rhododendrons - Also known as Malasian rhododendrons; often epiphytic and tender; best in greenhouse.
The 'Leach' hybrids were developed by the rhododendron expert, Mr. David Leach. Because of his very high standards of form, hardiness, flowers, and foliage, the cultivars that he introduced are all of exceptional quality.