The idea of naming an azalea for the City came about as a result of recommendation brought forward by the City’s Millennium Task Force. In 1999, the City's Parks and Recreation Department investigated the possibility of having an azalea named after Port Coquitlam as a unique and lasting way of marking the Millennium. The search led to an un-named azalea originally bred in Chilliwack as the “Sorenson 168”, which denotes the original breeder and the seedling number for this plant. Stan Sorenson was an azalea breeder in the Fraser Valley who produced a number of good hybrid azaleas. This particular plant was the offspring of a cross between an Exbury and a Knapp Hill Hydrid. After obtaining permission from Mr. Sorenson's estate, in 2000, the City registered the 'Pride of PoCo' azalea with the North American Rhododendron and with the Royal Horticultural Society in Great Britain.
The 'Pride of PoCo' azalea blooms in mid-May, opening into a semi-double flower described as 'shrimp pink' in colour with a delightfully sweet fragrance. The plant is hardy and will grow to a height of six feet.
The City of Port Coquitlam is proud to exhibit this plant as their official flower. Numerous 'Pride of PoCo' azalea have been featured in the Donald Park Azalea Walk located off Wilson Avenue.
Unfortunately, the 'Pride of PoCo' is not available commercially at this time.
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