Rhododendron, Dexter Rhododendron 'Scintillation'


Family: Ericaceae (er-ek-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Rhododendron (roh-do-DEN-dron) (Info)
Cultivar: Scintillation
Hybridized by Dexter
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36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade


All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:

Mid Spring




Provides winter interest

This plant is resistant to deer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:


Seed Collecting:

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Suitable for growing in containers


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Castro Valley, California

Ellicott City, Maryland

Mashpee, Massachusetts

Roslindale, Massachusetts

Kalamazoo, Michigan

Piscataway, New Jersey

Mahopac, New York

Oyster Bay, New York

Allentown, Pennsylvania

Charlestown, Rhode Island

Gainesville, Virginia

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Dec 12, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

One of my favorite rhododendrons for eastern Massachusetts.

Big glossy leaves, dense habit, robust growth, large flowers, and hardy into Z5. What's not to like?

It's hard to see in photographs, but the pink flowers have a white star in the center, and the contrast between the white and pink make the flowers scintillate when seen in person.

This grows 6' tall and wide in 10 years or so, and in time can get over 10' unless pruned regularly.

Deer food preferences vary locally, but Rhododendrons are usually considered prime deer fodder.

One of this plant's ancestors is clearly R. fortunei.

Bred by Charles Dexter in Sandwich, MA before 1943.


On May 23, 2011, StuKin from Stamford, CT wrote:

Scintillation is not only a terrific flowering shrub, but the dense growth habit and unique foliage make it a fantastic year-around plant. The leaves are the only rhododendron leaves I know of that have rounded tips unlike the typical pointed leaves on other varieties. Moreover, the leaves are very flat as opposed to the usual curled leaves seen on other varieties. Scintillation has become one of the most widely used rhododendrons and very deservedly so.


On May 4, 2010, plantoid from Castro Valley, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

My Scintillation rhodo was growing really well in a 20" round redwood planter. It grew to about 5' H x 5' W. It bloomed reliably and could take morning sun up to noon without burning. Two summers ago, it was pruned severely after blooming reducing it to a 3'x3' size and it never regained its previous vigor. I'm not sure about the connection with the severe pruning. I eventually had to get rid of it because it looked like it was about to die. When it was in bloom it was a sight to behold. When I cut the limbs open, there was a dark spot on each of the major limbs. Not sure if it was fungus that killed the plant or that's just the way the limbs were.


On Sep 29, 2009, roalber from Kalamazoo, MI wrote:

Scintillation is the most dependable, consistant bloomer in my south-west Michigan garden. I've grown it for more than 20 years. If I had to choose only one rhodo., Scintillation would be it. Mine is 8ft.x 8ft.


On Jun 3, 2007, Sofonisba from Questa, NM (Zone 5b) wrote:

This is one of my favorites. The flowers smell fantastic!


On May 17, 2005, Shirley1md from Ellicott City, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:

This is a wonderful mid-May cultivar by Charles Dexter. The pink flowers have rosy bronze specks which look beautiful against the dark evergreen leaves. It grows well in either pt. sun or shade and it can tolerate quite a bit of heat.


On Feb 6, 2005, oceangirl from Cape Cod, MA (Zone 7a) wrote:

This low-growing evergreen Rhododendron is a Dexter hybrid with flowers of a beautiful, clear pink. Nice for foundation plantings. Better in cooler areas. It is one of my favorites.