Tappan Zee Chapter, American Rhododendron Society Rhododendron 'Nova Zembla'
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Guy Nearing photograph

Guy Nearing, born January 22, 1890, can be considered a renaissance man. He was an authority on wild mushrooms, the author of "The Lichen Book", which he also illustrated, a poet who published six books, a landscape painter, a chess master, an inventor, and an active folk dancer into his 80s.

However, it was his proficiency as a horticulturist that we honor. After coping with the onset of blindness in his senior year, he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1911 as a member of Phi Beta Kappa and did graduate work in Botany at Harvard and Columbia Universities. His subsequent career was a testament to succeeding in spite of numerous severe physical and natural setbacks.

He began his first nursery experience in 1929 with the Guyencourt Nurseries where he did much early experimentation. In 1935, he became an independent rhododendron grower and opened the Guy Nearing Nursery in Ridgewood, New Jersey.

He was successful in developing many rhododendron hybrids, especially hardy small leaved lepidotes. In 1945, his nursery was destroyed by floods, causing many valuable specimens of rhododendrons to be lost. In 1947, he began a nursery in Ramsey, New Jersey, where he rose to prominence as one of the premier hybridizers and growers in the East.

Mr. Nearing was a member of the American Rhododendron Society, a founding member of the New York Chapter (1951), and a member of the New Jersey Chapter. The Tappan Zee Chapter was founded by Mr. Nearing as a spin off from the New Jersey Chapter.

On March 22, 1986, Guy Nearing died at the age of 96, leaving a legacy of hybrids that meet high standards of good bloom, good growth habit and reliable hardiness.

April Blush
R. carolinianum x R. mucronulatum
Scattered flowers, blush pink (–25F)

earing hybrid rhododendron 'Azonea'  
Azonea
Azor x Catanea
Pale salmon pink flowers (–25F)

Boulodes
Boule de Neige x Loderi seedling
Red turning white with faint spotting (–15F)

Habit of rhododendron 'Brandywine' Close-up of rhododendron 'Brandywine'
Brandywine
R. pubescens x R. keiskei
Pale pink turning to rich rose (-20F)

Catanea
Form of R. catawbiense
White (-20F)

Habit of rhododendron 'Chesapeake' earing hybrid rhododendron 'Chesapeake' close-up
Chesapeake
R. pubescens x R. keiskei
Pale yellowish pink turning to white (-25F)

Nearing hybrid rhododendron 'Cliff Garland'  
Cliff Garland
Bric-a-Brac x R. mucronulatum
Pale pink (-20F)

Cliff Spangle
Bric-a-Brac x R. mucronulatum
Bright pink (-20F)

Dark Eyes
Kettledrum x (R. detonsum x R. griersonianum)
Bright rose fading to flesh color with red blotch (-5F)

Decalgla
Catalgla x R. decorum
White, spotted green (-15F)

Delaware
R. pubescens x R. keiskei
Pink (-20F)

Dexanea
Catanea x Dexter Hybrid
White with brownish blotch (-25F)

Elam
Seedling of Chesapeake
Deep rose (-20F)

Elsmere
Seedling of Chesapeake
Yellow (-25F)

Nearing hybrid rhododendron 'Gretchen'  
Gretchen

Hockessin
R. pubescens x R. keiskei
Pink (-20F)

Lenape
R. pubescens x R. keiskei
Pale yellow (-20F)

Habit of rhododendron 'Macopin' Close-up of rhododendron 'Macopin'
Macopin
Seedling of R. racemosum (Wyanokie pollinated?)
Pale lilac (-20F)

Magnagloss
R. wardii x R. discolor
Grey purple with grey red blotch (-15F)

Habit of rhododendron 'Mary Fleming' Close-up rhododendron 'Mary Fleming'
Mary Fleming
(R. racemosum x R. keiskei) x R. keiskei
Bisque yellow with salmon blotches and streaks (-25F)

Mountain Aura
(R. decorum x R. griffithianum) x red hybrid
Light lavender with white centers (-15F)

Habit of rhododendron 'Mountain Flare' Close-up of rhododendron 'Mountain Flare'
Mountain Flare
Boule de Neige x Loderi King George
Red with green to purple speckling (-15F)

Rhododendron 'Moutain Glow'  
Mountain Glow
(R. decorum x R. griffithianum) x hardy red ironclad
Bright red purple (-15F)

Habit of rhododendron 'Mountain Queen'  
Mountain Queen
(R. decorum x R. griffithianum) x hardy red ironclad
Pale rose with white center (-25F)

Montchanin
R. pubescens x R. keiskei
Pure white (-25F)

Habit of rhododendron 'Pink Globe'  
Pink Globe
R. catawbiense x (R. griersonianum x R. fortunei)
Red with small red blotch (-15F)

Purple Gem
R. fastigiatum x R. carolinianum
Bright pale violet (-20F)

Habit of rhododdendron 'Ramapo'  
Ramapo
R. fastigiatum x R. carolinianum
Pastel violet (-25F)

Habit of rhododendron 'Ramsey Tinsel' Close-up of rhododendron 'Ramsey Tinsel'
Ramsey Tinsel
Seedling of Chesapeake
Ochre yellow

Red Lion
Tally Ho x R. catawbiense (red form)
Deep red (-20F)

Red Puff
Golden Horn x Catanea
Red with dark red speckles (-15F)

Habit of rhododendron 'Rochelle'  
Rochelle
Dorothea x Kettledrum
Pink with strawberry throat (-10F)

Signal Horn
Atrosanguineum x Goldsworth Yellow
Red with red spotted blotch (-15F)

Windbeam
Seedling from R. carolinianum x R. racemosum
White turning to soft pink (-25F)

Wyanokie
Seedling from R. carolinianum x R. racemosum
White (-25F)

*Source: Hybrids and Hybridizers Livingston, P. A. and West, F. H., Harrowood Books, 1978.
pp 170-172.

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