In order to create a darker red flowering rhododendron, I found 2 parents that I felt were the best ones to insure success. The seed parent is R. 'Leo' x R. 'Rubicon'. This plant has very dark red flowers on a plant with almost perfect foliage. For the pollen parent, I picked R. 'Black Widow', as it is the darkest red of any rhododendron hybrid. One of the offspring bloomed in 2011, and had excellent foliage and very dark red flowers. I named this one 'Midnight Rubies'. We only have a few to sell at this time, but will be propagating more as time goes on. I can make an educated guess that this one will only be hardy to zone 7, as this is what its parents hardiness is.