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Despite the vast difference that separates them geographically, it is generally agreed that Kalmiopsis and Rhodothamnus are closely allied. So it is not surprising that the deliberate cross between them has produced viable offspring. This was made by Barry Starling in 1978, K. leachiana being the pollen-parent and R. chamaecistus the seed-parent (there is only one other species in Rhodothamnus, at present little known). By 1982 six seedlings had flowered, two of which were exhibited on April 14, 1982 (Bull. Alp. Gard. Soc., Vol. 50, pp. 320 and 324). See also The Plantsman, Vol. 4(2), pp. 96-7 (1982). The specific name for the cross was published in The Plantsman, Vol. 6 (4), pp. 225-7 (1985). The epithet (‘bird’s eye’) refers to the conspicuous red eye of the flowers in all seedlings raised.