University of Connecticut Rhododendron Introductions
Mark H. Brand
Anyone who is a University of Connecticut basketball fan has been enjoying the last decade of hoops in Connecticut. In 1999, we celebrated the men's basketball conquest over the Duke Blue Devils in the NCAA championship. In 1995 and 2000, we cheered on the women's team as they put away the Tennessee Lady Vols to bring home their own championships. To celebrate all of this basketball success, the University of Connecticut has named six new and improved rhododendron hybrids with basketball-related names and dubbed them the "Raise the Roof" series. For those of you who may not be rabid basketball fans, "raising the roof" is an arm gesture basketball players use to get the crowd to cheer loud enough to "raise the roof" off the arena. The "Raise the Roof" cultivars are ‘Buzzer Beater’, ‘Hoopla’, ‘Huskymania’, ‘March Madness’, ‘Slam Dunk’ and ‘Tip Off’.
The rhododendron breeding program at the University of Connecticut was started in 1960 by Gustav A. L. Mehlquist. Unfortunately, Dr. Mehlquist passed away
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