With approximately 1,000 species and over 30,000 (some sources mention even 40-50,000) varieties, the genus Rhododendron is very divers. Since the 19th century, rhododendrons have also been an integral part of many gardens and parks in Germany.
The German Gene Bank for Rhododendrons is a national network of more than 40 public and private rhododendron collections. These include tree nurseries, botanical gardens, parks and private gardens. The partners maintain their collections with great commitment and expertise. The objective of the gene bank is to connect the individual collections and to make them visible for the public; thus supporting the efforts to preserve the genus Rhododendron with its species as well as historical and modern varieties in all its diversity and beauty.
The Federal Plant Variety Office has been coordinating the German Gene Bank for Rhododendrons since July 1, 2014. The origin for the gene bank is the model and demonstration project “Decentralized Rhododendron Gene Bank Network”, which was carried out by the Chamber of Agriculture in Lower Saxony and funded by the Federal Ministry for Food and Agriculture (BMEL) from September 2007 to June 2014. The final report of the project can be searched with the reference number 2807BM023 in the project database of the Federal Institute for Agriculture and Food (BLE - Project funding - Project search).
In 2017 and 2018, the second survey and verification of Rhododendron and Indian Azalea varieties form the German Gene Bank for Rhododendrons took place. This was commissioned by the BMEL as a survey project on biological diversity. The final report can also be found in the project database of the BLE (see link above) by entering the funding reference 2816BE003.
Approximately 370 Rhododendron species and subspecies, 4,100 Rhododendron varieties inclusive 600 Indian Azalea varieties are maintained in the gene bank. Detailed descriptions and images of the individual accessions are available in the online database.
Federal Plant Variety Office
Telephone: +49 511 9566-50
Fax: +49 511 9566-9600
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