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Experimental and Breeding Nursery of Rhododendron
Faculty of Biology
University of Latvia

Kronvalda bulv. 4
Riga, LV-1586

Phone: +371 732 2912
Fax: +371 732 5657 or +371 732 2912

Born: May 12, 1932, Daugavpils district, Asune civil parish, Latvia

Interests in inventing:

  • Selection of Simsii rhododendrons (greenhouse azaleas)
  • Selection of outdoor rhododendrons

Main invention:

  • For the first time in the history of the Latvian decorative gardening 25 new varieties of Simsii rhododendrons (greenhouse azaleas) have been created. Authors' certificates for 14 of the varieties have been received.
  • For the first time in the history of the Latvian decorative gardening 9 new summer-green varieties of rhododendron have been created and all have received authors' certificates of the Republic of Latvia.

Selection of patent documents:

Totally: 23 authors' certificates for rhododendron varieties 'Sartais Dzintars' (Glowing Amber), 'Sniegbaltite' (Snow-White), 'Sarkangalvite' (Little Red Riding Hood), 'Saulriets' (Sunset), 'Ginta', 'Ilva', 'Ritenitis' (Little Wheel), 'Eldze', 'Sniegparsla' (Snowflake), 'Duets' (Duet), 'Inta', 'Jolanta', 'Karlis Sunins', 'Masa Kerija' (Sister Carrie), for the new summer-green outdoor rhododendron varieties 'Rubins' (Ruby), 'Rita Zvaigzne' (Morning Star), 'Polarzvaigzne' (Pole-Star), 'Pasacina' (Romance), 'Mazais Jefins', 'Liva', 'Indra', 'Inga', 'Astra'.

The following authors' certificates of USSR have been received for the new Simsii rhododendron (greenhouse azaleas) varieties:

  Authors' certificate Nr
and date issue
The variety has been
districted in Latvia in:
‘Sartais Dzintars’ Nr.2379, 11.04.1978. 1977
‘Sniegbaltite’ Nr.2905, 13.04.1981. 1979
‘Sarkangalvite’ Nr.2906, 13.04.1981. 1979
‘Saulriets’ Nr.2907, 13.04.1981. 1979
‘Ginta’ Nr.2908, 13.04.1981. 1979
‘Ilva’ Nr.3831, 24.10.1984. 1984
‘Ritenitis’ Nr.3832, 24.10.1984. 1984
‘Eldze’ Nr.3833, 24.10.1984. 1984
‘Sniegparsla’ Nr.3834, 24.10.1984. 1984
‘Duets’ Nr.4591, 19.07.1989 1989
‘Inta’ Nr.5186, 19.07.1989 1989
‘Jolanta’ Nr.5185, 19.07.1989 1989
‘Karlis Sunins’ Nr.5183, 19.07.1989 1989
‘Masa Kerija’ Nr.5184, 19.07.1989 1989


In 1999 the following authors' certificates of the Republic of Latvia have been received for the new summer-green outdoor rhododendron varieties:

  Authors' certificate Nr.
and registration date
Protocol of National
Plant Varieties Council Nr.
Rubins Nr. ROD-1, 26.02.1999. Nr.12.
Rita Zvaigzne Nr. ROD-2, 26.02.1999. Nr.12.
Polarzvaigzne Nr. ROD-3, 26.02.1999. Nr.12.
Pasacina Nr. ROD-4, 26.02.1999. Nr.12.
Mazais Jefins Nr. ROD-5, 26.02.1999. Nr.12.
Liva Nr. ROD-6, 26.02.1999. Nr.12.
Indra Nr. ROD-7, 26.02.1999. Nr.12.
Inga Nr. ROD-8, 26.02.1999. Nr.12.
Astra Nr. ROD-9, 26.02.1999. Nr.12.

Rihards KONDRATOVICS about investigation and meaning:

The main task of the rhododendron selection:

  • To create new highly decorative winter-hardy (for outdoor rhododendrons) varieties of rhododendrons adapted for the Latvian agro-climatic conditions


  • In the period of 1981-1989 14 new greenhouse azalea varieties and in 1998 – 9 summer-green outdoor rhododendron varieties have been districted


  • Plant Physiology
  • Plant Anatomy
  • Plant Endurance Physiology
  • Introduction and Selection of  Decorative Plants - Rhododendrons

Special attention in scientific activities is devoted to the research of ornamental plants - rhododendron (Rhododendron L.) genus as well as creation of new cultivars adapted for the Latvian agro-climatic conditions. The work with rhododendron genus was started in 1957. Since then a wide rhododendron collection has been created including 100 species, 50 cultivars and several hundreds of perspective hybrids. 26 new cultivars of Simsii rhododendrons (greenhouse azaleas) has been created and a collection of more than 100 cultivars has been developed. In 1980 an educational and scientific basis - the Rhododendron Experimental and Breeding Nursery "Babite" was founded.


Latvian, Russian, German


  • University of Latvia (Faculty of Biology), 1955
  • Dr.biol. (Candidate of Science in former USSR, Ph.D. in Western countries), University of Latvia, 1965
  • Dr.habil.biol. (Doctor of Science in former USSR), Moscow Botanic Gardens, 1983


University of Latvia -
  • Laboratory Assistant, Faculty of Biology, 1955
  • Director, Botanic Gardens, 1955-1965
  • Dean, Faculty of Biology, 1965-1969
  • Associate Professor, Faculty of Biology, 1966-1985
  • Professor, Faculty of Biology, 1985 -
  • Pro-Rector for Science, 1987-1997
  • Head of the Rhododendron Experimental and Breeding Nursery "Babite", 1999


  • Corresponding Member, Latvian Academy of Sciences, 1989
  • Full Member, Latvian Academy of Sciences, 1992
  • Full Member, European Academy of Science and Arts, 1992
  • Latvian SSR State Prize (for rhododendron introduction and selection in Latvia), 1985
  • Merited Scientist of Latvia, 1989
  • State Emeritus Scientist, 1998
  • Latvian Academy of Sciences and Joint Stock Company "Itera-Latvia" and the Educational Foundation of Latvia Prize (for rhododendron introduction and selection and development of decorative gardening in Latvia), 2002

Work in poffessional community:

  • Chairman, Habilitation and Promotion Council (Biology), University of Latvia
  • Member, Scientific Council of National Botanic Gardens , 1996 -
  • Member, Editorial Board for Latvijas Vesture (Latvian History)
  • Consultant for Darzs un Drava (Garden&Apiary), 1979 -
  • Member of Organizing Committee, International Conference Kufalds and Environmental Protection, 1997
  • Member, Latvian Council for Election of State Emeritus Scientists, 1995 -


  • American Rhododendron Society, 1987 -
  • German Rhododendron Society, 1997 -
  • Royal Horticultural Society (Great Britain), 2003 -
  • Latvian Botanist Society, 1958 -
  • Latvian Society of Gardeners and Bee-masters, 1958
  • Latvian Society of Geneticists and Breeders, 1979 -
  • Latvian Dendrologist Society, 1992 -


More than 360 publications, including 5 monographs, 1 textbook;

~ 58 authors’ certificates for the created new cultivars of  rhododendrons -

    Evergreen Rhododendrons: ' Academia Scientiarum',   'Alma Mater', 'Babites Baltais', Dace', 'Eduards  Smilgis', 'Emeritus', 'Emils', 'Ginta', 'Irina', 'Janis', 'Karlis', 'Kristine', 'Lavanda', 'Lita', 'Ligo', 'Spriditis', 'Uldis'

    Decidious Rhododendrons: 'Alina', 'Anita', 'Astra', 'Austra', 'Francisa', 'Ilze', 'Ina', 'Indra', 'Inga', 'Laura', 'Liene', 'Liesma', 'Liva', 'Lorija', 'Madame Debene', 'Mazais Jefins', 'Pasacina', 'Polarzvaigzne', 'Polonia', 'Rita Zvaigzne', 'Rigas Rododendrs', 'Rubins', 'Saule', 'Skaidrite', 'Teika', 'Uguns'

  • Rhododendrons, 1965, Riga:Liesma, 123 pp.; 2nd ed. , 1978, 188 pp. (in Latvian).
  • Azaleas, 1971, Riga:Liesma, 142 pp. (in Latvian).
  • Practical Work in Plant Anatomy, 1976, Riga:Zvaigzne, 280 pp. (in Latvian).
  • Rhododendrons, 1981, Riga:Liesma, 231 pp. (in Russian).
  • Rhododendrons in Latvia, 1981, Riga:Zinatne, 332 pp. (in Russian).
  • Breeding of Rhododendrons(co-author U.Kondratovics), 2000, Riga, 28 pp. (in Latvian).
  • Rododendru Avize (Rhododendrons' Paper, co-author U.Kondratovics), Riga: A/S "Lauku Avize", 2002, N 8 (74),  64 pp. (in Latvian).
  • Rododendri un to selekcija Latvija (Rhododendrons and Their Breeding in Latvia), 2005, Riga: LU Akademiskais Apgads, 102 pp. (in Latvian).


University of Latvia -

  • Plant Anatomy, 1965 - 2000
  • Plant Endurance Physiology on Immunity Basis, 1975 - 2000
  • Plant Introduction and Selection, 1975 - 2000
  • Plant Physiology (selected topics), 1975 - 2000

Research Projects:

  • R.Kondratovics (Head of Project). Research of Physiological and Biochemical Processes of Plants Reproduction and Creation of Propagation Technology. Latvian Council of Science (1991-1993) .
  • R.Kondratovics (Head of Project). The Breeding of New Cultivars of Rhododendrons and Elaboration of Methods of Their Vegetational Propagation for the Latvian Agrarian and Climatie Conditions.  Latvian Council of Science (1994-2003).
  • R.Kondratovics (Head of Project). The Breeding of New Cultivars of Rhododendrons for the Latvian Agrarian and Climate Conditions. Latvian Council of Science (2004 - ).

Family and Hobbies:

All members of the family are biologists. Professor R.Kondratovics is a plant physiologist, his wife Skaidrite - a botanist, son Uldis - a plant physiologist, associate professor at the Faculty of Biology, his scientific interests are connected with rhododendrons; his 3 sons are 18 years and 16 years old. Daughter Ginta is also a plant physiologist, formerly worked with rhododendrons, now brings up a daughter - 17 years old, and a son - 16 years old.

Hobbies: rhododendrons and photographs.

More about the inventor (in Latvian)

More about the inventor (in English)