Lovers of rhododendrons will have a rare opportunity to hear a fellow aficionado from Alesund, Norway at the March 12 meeting of the North Island Rhododendron Society (NIRS). Ole Jonny Larsen, long-time member of the Norwegian Rhododendron Society and current president, is a popular speaker at meetings and conventions internationally as well as being a prolific writer, with many articles and several books on rhododendrons and plant hunting to his credit.
In addition to producing one of the largest rhododendron species collections in Scandinavia in his “backyard” nursery, Larsen has gone on plant-hunting expeditions to Yunnan and Sichuan China.
This temperate area has been called a biodiversity “hot spot” and supports a huge variety of species including some rare rhododendrons.
NIRS meetings are held on the second Tuesday of the month in the Comox United Church, 250 Beach Street, at 7:30 p.m. with doors opening at 7.
Visitors interested in membership are welcome to attend. Coffee and refreshments are available as well as a selection of plants from members’ gardens.