The text at Slate -- while somewhat negative -- does not seem so
diparaging as you indicated.
Hybrids can and do occur in nature whenever a flower of one variety is
pollinated by a flower of a different variety. Occasionally, it even
happens between flowers of different but closely related species.
The comment at Slate about 'Knockout' roses having no scent applies to
many modern roses. Growers developing new varieties focus on flower
color, resistance to fungus (mildew, rust, and black spot), suitability
for most climates, and vigor of the plant. Aroma is usually at the
bottom of the priority list.
I'm not sure about the comment at Slate about azaleas. I have an 'Inga'
(a Belgian Indica) that blooms on and off from spring to fall and
sometimes even in the winter. This is not a new variety.
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
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