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Rhododendron kasoense R. katsumatae Til K R. kanehirae

Rhododendron kasoense

 R. kasoense, photo: Egil Valderhaug
R. kasoense, Foto: Egil Valderhaug

 R. kasoense. Foto: K. Cox
Foto: K. Cox

 R. kasoense BE09-01, photo: Mogens Olsen
R. kasoense BE09 #01 hos Mogens Olsen, Foto: Mogens Olsen

R. kasoense ( Monantha) ) En nyintroduceret art af K. Cox. Vist ikke hårdfør i Danmark?.

Flora of China D. Genbank
RBGE herbarium. R. kasoense
Scottish Plant Collectors discover 4 new species of rhododendron in never-explored part of North East India.
Arunachal Pradesh on the India/Tibet border is one of the last unexplored regions on earth. Full of undiscovered 
plant treasures, it is the true Shangri-La for present day plant-hunters.
Peter & Patricia Cox and Peter Hutchison, veteran Scottish plant-collectors last attempted to explore the 
Subansiri region of Arunachal Pradesh in 1965. Permits were obtained and all seemed well, but the 1962 Chinese 
invasion on Arunachal had left the Indians feeling very sensitive. The expedition was forced to turn back by the 
army, only allowed a tantalising glimpse of the riches of the region: 3 species of Rhododendron entirely new to 
science were discovered in the small area covered. How many more exciting plants could lie further into the 
mysterious mountains?

Peter Cox's son Kenneth, leader of several expeditions to Tibet, turned his attention to Arunachal Pradesh and 
in autumn 2001, managed to explore the lower reaches of the Tsangpo River where, like his father in 1965, he 
discovered several new species of rhododendron.

On 11th October 2002 Kenneth Cox, Peter Cox and Peter Hutchison and American explorer Kenneth Storm returned 
to Arunachal Pradesh to complete the 1966 expedition, crossing the mountain divide between the Subansiri and 
Siyom rivers, for the first time by non-Indians. The Tagin tribe who live in the mountains have long been 
feared as too volatile and warlike to let outsiders penetrate their world. It took several days negotiation to 
ensure safe passage and the villagers then expertly guided the explorers through the jungle terrain. The crossing 
of the range took 7 days of extreme hardship and considerable danger due to very steep terrain, cliffs and 
suspension bridges in poor states of repair. Two members of the expedition had to turn back, leaving the others 
to achieve the crossing. 

'It was the hardest but most rewarding of the over 15 expeditions I've been on' said Peter Cox aged 68, 'but I 
think it's time I retired from this: it was too hard.'

They managed to identify 40 species of rhododendron including 4 species completely new to science, and 2 further 
species never before introduced to the west one of which, R. kasoense, uniquely flowers in October. They also 
found numerous other interesting plants including a new species of Sorbus and a Primula, never introduced from 
the wild.

Peter Cox, son of the author and plant collector Euan Cox, is considered the world's leading authority on 
rhododendrons. He is author of numerous books on the subject and has bred many of the best known dwarf rhododendron 
and azalea hybrids as well as participating in over 15 plant-hunting expeditions.

Kenneth Cox, Peter's son is nurseryman, writer and plant hunter who runs the family horticultural business at 
Glendoick, Perth Scotland. He is author or co-author of 6 books on rhododendrons and botanical exploration, the 
most recent of which is a new edition of Frank Kingdon Ward's classic Riddle of the Tsangpo Gorges. 


More information on Arunachal Discoveries as several people have asked for more details.

The following species are completely new to Science and therefore are unnamed.

1. an evergreen azalea. None are reported from this area. This was a great surprise.
2. A species in subsection Falconera  looks like R. protisum and sino falconeri with good indumentum
3. A species related to R. aperantum  This was another really curious plant. Nothing quite like it.
4. A new species related to R. sanguineum or parmulatum.
5. A Maddenia or Tephropepla species. No idea what this could be.

2 species introduced for the very first time:

Plus R. kasoense  this is Autumn flowering with 4-5 yellow flowers. I can send scans if the one attatched to the e mail was not let through your system.
R. boothii   both introduced for probably the first time. This is a bright yellow species suitable for west coast and mild gardens. It was in cultivation but seems to have been lost: we have not seen any correctly named plants for 30 years at least.

Other interesting discoveries:

R. exasperatum    only found once or twice before. Red flowers and wonderful purple new growth.
R. ludlowii  introduced by Ludlow & Sherriff in the 1930's and not seen since. A tiny, tricky alpine with yellow flowers, used very successfully as a parent at Glendoick by Peter Cox to raise the very well known bird hybrids: 'Chikor', Curlew', Wren' etc. 
R. tsariense   found at last, We failed to locate it in Tsari, Tibet and I doubt it occurs there at all.
R. sherriffii and R thomsonii ssp. lopsangianum


P. vaginata ssp. normaniana 
P. elizabethae

Neither are in cultivation

4 species of Sorbus, probably 2 are new.


More details are available on our website:  www.glendoick.com or by contacting Kenneth Cox: 
E mail:  ken@glendoick.com  Phone: 07889 056476 Fax: 01738 860 630. Scans/photographs can be supplied.

Ken Cox (home account)

All messages concerning Glendoick Gardens Ltd Rhododendron and azalea nursery should be send to:

R. kanehirae Til K R. katsumatae