The old hybrid 'Sappho' has been improved by crossing with 'Tweedy Bird'. The flowers are bigger and more ruffled, but still have the 'rusty' flare in the upper lobe. The plant itself is easier to grow, is less fussy, and is more attractive overall. A great achievement by the Thompson Nursery in Waldport, Oregon. So many rhododendron fanatics love 'Sappho', for the dramatic flower, but the rest of the year the plant looks shabby. Now you can have a good looking plant with that classic, dramatic flower. Hardy to zone 6.