Spring’s Favorite Flower

Rhododendrons are shrubs for all seasons. In winter some stand out with large evergreen leaves. In spring the flowers are showy; throughout the summer and fall the leaves add a pleasing, deep green color to the garden. There are over 900 species of  rhododendron and over 28,000 cultivars of rhododendron in the International Rhododendron Registry.

Dexter’s Rhododendrons

Dexter was a businessman by trade, and took to growing and hybridizing rhododendrons on what is now Heritage Museums & Gardens at around 60 years of age. Between 1921 and 1943 Dexter produced between 5,000 and 10,000 seedlings annually and gave thousands of plantings away. Heritage currently has approximately 150 named rhododendron varieties by Charles Owen Dexter and the Dexter Estate Superintendent J.C. Cowles, who hybridized in the 1960s.


Rhododendron  Video Series

Rhododendron Pruning

Rhododendron Propagation

Rhododendron Pests & Diseases

The Legacy of Rhododendrons at Heritage Museums & Gardens

Rhododendron Care & Planting Tips

Rhododendron Dexter’s Scintillation

Celebrate Heritage’s Rhododendron’s with Us!
From May 26-June 3, Heritage celebrates rhododendrons during peak bloom.

Dexter’s Orange

Boasts wonderful pink flowers that appear orange from a distance

They have the added bonus of being wonderfully fragrant.


Can grow up to 8’ tall and 8’ wide

A subtle pink  color with shades of yellow, ‘Scintillation’ is considered to be the best of the plants created by Dexter. It has a pleasant fragrance, and when closely examined, it’s flower clusters are 8-10” across and made up of 20+ funnel-shaped clear pink blossoms with freckling on the upper side.

Recent Garden News & Blogs

  • White Rhododendron

Hybridizing Rhododendrons

May 22nd, 2021|

100 Years of Rhododendrons After Dexter died in 1943, many of his hybrid rhododendrons were scattered away from Sandwich to different places. While Dexter himself had given away thousands of seedlings during [...]

  • Rhododendron

Dexter Centennial

May 16th, 2021|

100 Years of Rhododendrons This year, 2021, marks the centennial of the year that Charles Owen Dexter acquired Shawme Farm. It is because Dexter bought himself a country retreat a hundred years [...]

  • News & Blog - witch-hazel

Witch Hazel For The Winter Garden

March 10th, 2021|

Down To Earth by Les Lutz The days are getting longer and there are already signs of life in the garden. One bright spot in the garden here at Heritage Museums & Gardens [...]

  • American Elderberry

American Elderberry

February 4th, 2021|

Our beautiful elderberry in the herb garden. Sambucus canadensis or American Elderberry is a shrub that can grow to 12 feet, flowering in the summer and producing an abundance of fruits in early fall. [...]