SPECIES FOUNDATION RHODODENDRONS
Short description of most species.
updated from RSF catalogs by Jerry L. Fickes
updated by Hans Eiberg 1997-2002
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dalhousiae var. dalhousiae
Large, typically rather leggy evergreen shrubs with
spectacular trumpet-like flowers up to four inches in length.
The flowers are usually creamy yellow but can be white, cream
or lemon to greenish yellow, typically fragrant. Attractive
smooth and peeling reddish brown bark and slightly bullate
foliage with deeply impressed veins. The flowers of this
species are among the most magnificent in the genus and have
to be seen to be believed. A real show-stopper which should be
grown by everyone as it can be maintained for many years in
containers. Requires extremely well-drained soil. Native to
the eastern Himalayas where it occurs from 5,900 to 9,000 ft.
as an epiphyte or on boulders and cliffs.
84/128 'Frank Ludlow' LS&T 6694: BH (+25). White flowers and
yellow blotch. FCC 1974.
507sd97 SEH#521:RSBG (+15\R2\8). My own collection from a
plant with typical creamy yellow flowers at 6,900 ft. in the
West Bengal, Indian Himalaya.
508sd97 SEH#522:RSBG (+15\R2\8). My own collection from a
plant with creamy white flowers at 6,900 ft. in the West
Bengal, Indian Himalaya.
dalhousiae var. rhabdotum
Sprawling shrubs to 12 ft. Flowers (April-May) are white or
cream, often flushed yellow inside, and outside with five red
lines running from the base of the corolla to the tip of each
lobe. The broad red stripes on the outer surface of the petals
make this one of the most fascinating rhododendron flowers
available. Requires a relatively warm climate to grow outside or
can be grown in a greenhouse, Epiphytic in rain forests or
terrestrial on hillsides and dry rocky areas from 5,000 to 9,000
ft. India, China
77/703 (rhabdotum) BRO (+32). Broad tubular flowers creamy-
white with the characteristic bold red stripes.
83/077 SCHI (+15\R2\8).
Semi-deciduous to evergreen hardy shrubs, blooming in late winter
to early spring. The flowers are red-purple to purple, pink or
white. Usually the first species to flower at the RSBG (some
clones in January). The foliage is fragrant and turns purple-bronze
in the autumn/winter. A widely distributed and variable species
found in dense thickets and mixed forests from river valleys to
mountain slopes in Japan, N China, Mongolia and E Russia.
1966/590 Glendoick (- 25\R1\5). Red-purple flowers.
74/008 'Midwinter' WEB (-25). Our earliest-blooming form.
Red-purple flowers. FCC 1969.
76/019 WEB (-25). Dwarf form.
76/348 'Hollaido' Wada-WE Berg (-25). A white flowered award
winning form the blooms one month later than others. Award of
77/600 (ledebourii) USNA ((25). Rose-purple flowers in this clone
collected in the former USSR.
82/131 (sichotense) MBG (-25). Form with soft lavender
flowers, collected in Russia.
82/165 Birck ('25\R1\3). A very dwarf form with small rounded
leaves. Perfect for bonsai. Retains its dwarf stature and tiny
leaf character better if starved a bi I have not recorded the
flower color. Collected wild in the Baikal region of Russia.
84/182 'Gros Jacques' Van Veen ('25\R1\5). Our first offering
of this clone which is similar to 'Midwinter' in habit and size.
I seem to remember the flower color is similar as well but have
not recorded this information. An attractive early bloomer.
354sd1999 RSBG (- 25\R1\5). These are vigorous seedlings grown
from seed collected wild in NE China north of Korea.
davidii affinity ?
These are large seedlings grown from seed collected wild at 4,850 ft.
in the Dalou Shan region of northern Guizhou Province, China. This
may be R. davidii or a closely related or even new taxon. R. davidii
is a highly desirable species not currently in cultivation (?) with
deep-colored purple flowers and long narrow leaves. The seed was
collected from a group of trees up to 40 ft. high growing in a SW
facing habitat in a Rhododendron forest with Litsea sp., Rhododendron
coeloneuron and bamboo.
217sd95 PW#51:RSBG (0 to +15?\R1\6?). This seems to be a quite
uniform and distinct batch of seedlings with foliage closely
matching the description of davidii. Attractive long and very
narrow leaves. A definite collector's item.
Large upright to spreading evergreen shrubs. The lanceolate to oblong
leaves are densely covered with small brown scales on the underside.
The flowers (mid-spring) are widely funnel-shaped with long exserted
stamens. They are quite showy and range in color from mauve to lavender,
white or pink, often with a darker blotch or spots. A beautiful species
when covered with blossoms, these are sometimes slightly fragrant.
Native to central & SW Sichuan Province, China where it is quite common
in a wide variety of habitats from 6,000 to 11,500 ft
63/007 WGP (+10)
64/129 'Caerhays Pink' CAE (+10). Form with pink spotted red
75/188 Smith,Cecil (0\R1\6). Pale rose flowers with magenta flecks
on this 1953 FCC form.
Large evergreen shrubs or small trees. The large fragrant flowers
(late spring to early summer) are white to pink or rose, often
flushed an/or marked with green, yellow or crimson flecks. An
easily grown, vigorous and free-blooming species, tolerant of a
wide range of conditions including fairly dry and even alkaline soil.
Extremely common in the wild, it occurs in various habitats from
6,000 to 13,000 ft. in N Burma and SW China (Yunnan, Sichuan & W
65/250 'Dalriada' Stronachullin (- 15\R1\3). Deep rose buds
open to beautiful rose flowers on this low-growing
64/062 PC: CHP: MVW (0). Light pink fragrant flowers. From
seed selfed at Glendoick.
385sd96 SEH#036:RSBG (0?\R1\8). Grown from seed collected wild at
9,700 ft. in Sichuan, China. Nice large vigorous plants.
394sd1996 SEH#045:RSBG (0\R1\8). My own collection from
11,000 ft. in S Sichuan, China.
504sd1996 SEH#175:RSBG (0\R1\8). My own collection from 9,200 ft.
in NE Yunnan, China. This is an extremely unusual form with
rounded cordate leaves very similar in appearance to the foliage
of orbiculare. We were quite perplexed in the field but
Peter Cox haws since bloomed this and confirmed the identity as
decorum! Very distinct population and uniform seedlings. May
deserve subspecific status. Large blooming-sized plants.
270sd1999 RSBG (0\R1\8). Grown from seed collected wild by
Daniel Winkler on the W Sichuan/E Tibet border at 6,500 ft.
414sd1999 DJHC#98134:RSBG (0\R1\8). Grown from seed collected
wild by Daniel Hinkley in SW China.
degronianum ssp. degronianum
Rounded to compact and mounding evergreen shrubs with a thin
fawn to rufous indumentum on the undersides of the leaves. The
five-lobed flowers (mid-spring) are pink to rose or white.
Fairly low-growing, often wider than high. A popular, hardy
and heat-tolerant species native to N Honshu, Japan where it
forms thickets around tree-line (6,000 ft.).
65/250 'Dalriada' Stronachullin (- 15\R1\3). Deep rose buds
open to beautiful rose flowers on this low-growing,
67/708 RBG (0).
70/064 ('Rae's Delight') ACB-CHP (-10). Form with a slow
spreading habit and flowers almost red in bud, opening deep
567sd1996 (var. kyomaruense) 96ARS#340:RSBG ('10\R1\5). Grown
from seed collected wild on Mt. Amagi, Banzaburo, Japan.
Should have a five-lobed corolla.
575sd1996 ('metternichii') 96ARS#339:RSBG ('10\R1\5). These
are grown from seed collected wild from plants with pink
flowers on Mt. Taradake, Japan.
579sd1996 ('metternichii f. micranthum') 96ARS#338:RSBG
('10\R1\5). Grown from seed collected wild on Mt. Omine,
Japan from a plant with pink flowers. Nice thick orange-
580sd1996 (var. hondoense) 96ARS#343:RSBG ('10\R1\5).
This variety similar to 'metternichii' but with a thinner
indumentum and a more northerly range. Grown from seed
collected wild on Mt. Hando, Japan. These seedlings have
large leaves with a thin shiny copper indumentum.
degronianum ssp. heptamerum var. heptamerum
Rounded to compact and mounding evergreen shrubs. The
attractive foliage has a thick (sometimes thin) fawn to rufous
indumentum on the underside. A popular, hardy and
heat-tolerant species with pink to rose or white flowers in
mid-spring. Similar to ssp. degronianum but generally larger
and with seven-lobed flowers. The former species known as
metternichii is now "lumped" with this species. Native to S
Japan where it occurs from 700 to 4,000 ft. in a wide variety
65/281 ("metternichii") Borde Hill (- 10\R1\5). Deep rose-pink
flowers with maroon spots on the upper lobe.
73/181 (metternichii) USDA 330367 (-15).
76/111 (metternichii var. micranthum 'Enamoto') WEB (-15).
Flowers are pink to soft rose, compact habit.
80/003 (metternichii Ho Emma') BH (-15). Flowers white
83/208 (metternichii) TOD (-15). Form with pink flowers.
296sd95 ("metternichii") 95ARS#413:RSBG ((10\R1\5). Grown from
seed collected wild in Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan from plants
with pink flowers. Beautiful large leaves with a velvety reddish
580sd96 (var. hondoense) 96ARS#343:RSBG (- 10\R1\5). This
variety similar to "metternichii" but with a thinner
indumentum and a more northerly range. Grown from seed
collected wild on Mt. Hando, Japan. These seedlings have large
leaves with a thin shiny copper indumentum.
degronianum ssp. heptamerum var. kyomaruense
Similar to var. heptamerum but with flowers only having 5 lobes and
native only to central Honshu, Japan.
75/139 (metternichii var. kyomaruense) BERG ((15). White flushed
rose flowers with stunning silvery white indumentum on the newly
emerged foliage, persisting on the underside.
567sd1996 (var. kyomaruense) 96ARS#340:RSBG (- 10\R1\5).
Grown from seed collected wild on Mt. Amagi, Banzaburo,
Japan. These have a shiny buckskin indumentum on the
lower surface of the leaves.
degronianum ssp. yakushimanum
Dense mounding shrubs, 3 to 8 ft. Light pink or rose buds open to
white or white flushed pink flowers (May) with or without faint
pink flecks. The dwarf to semi-dwarf habit, foliage with thick
white to fulvous indumentum, and exceptional flowers make this a
popular species. Native solely to Yaku Island,Japan in coniferous
forests and on exposed mountain slopes from 1,500 to 6,500 ft. The
2 accessions are the two original clones of this species introduced
64/012 'Koichiro Wada' (yakushimanum 'Koichiro Wada') WIND:CHI (-15).
A 1947 FCC form, similar to the Exbury form.
75/260 (=75/241) 'Exbury Form' Exbury (- 15\R1\3). Perfect
dome-shaped habit with "apple blossom" flowers (pink buds
opening to pale pink flowers fading white). One of the finest
Open-growing and often somewhat sprawling evergreen shrubs (in
cultivation) with peeling deep reddish to purple bark. The
large funnel-shaped flowers are white with a colorful flare or
flush. This is a fairly tender species worth growing in containers
for its attractive, often fragrant flowers. One of my favorite
maddenias, it is advisable to pinch the new growth for the first
couple of years for a bushier and well-shaped specimen. Requires
extremely well-drained soil. This is a wide-spread and variable
species in the wild. Native to N Burma, Arunachal Pradesh,
SE Tibet and adjacent areas of W Yunnan. Occurs as an epiphyte or
terrestrially on rocks and cliffs from 3,000 to 10,000 ft.
81/126 (taronense) SA- EK (+32). Form with white flowers.
80/087 F#17227:RBGE (+15\R2\5). Unfortunately, I have not
recorded flowering data for this clone.
Dwarf evergreen shrubs with bristly branches and small oval to
elliptic leaves. The leaves are around three-quarters of an
inch in length and range from a smooth, deep glossy green to a
"fuzzy" matte green. The openly funnel-shaped flowers (early
spring) are rose-pink to white and often have reddish spots.
The flowers are quite large in scale with the small growth
habit and leaves, sometimes up to 2 inches wide! This is
basically a dwarf version of the well-known and popular R.
moupinense, occurring in the same region (various mountains in
central Sichuan, China) and in the same habitats. A fantastic
new dwarf species for the garden or in containers. Very
slow-growing and should be drought tolerant once well
established as it is epiphytic in the wild. Requires excellent
drainage (especially in containers) and should be at least as
hardy as R. moupinense. Grows as an epiphyte in trees and on
cliffs and boulders from 6,000 to 10,500 ft. Very, very choice.
94/397 CCH#4012:Glendoick (+5 to 0\R2\2). This clone
with elliptic matte green, hairy leaves and pale
rose-pink flowers. More vigorous than 1996/009. Charming
96/009 Cox#5016:Glendoick (+5 to 0\R2\2). This clone with
smooth and oval, shiny dark green leaves and deep rose-pink
A newly introduced species. This is one of the most exciting of
several recent introductions into cultivation. This species is
closely related to R. floribundum but differs in its shinier leaves
and darker indumentum. From observations of wild populations and
seedlings now in cultivation this species seems very closely related
to the also recently introduced R. coeloneuron which is currently
placed in subsection Taliensia. Perhaps they are simply variations
within one species' In my own humble opinion the two species are
one in the same, but we'll have to wait for flowers to finally settle
this matter. (See discussion under R. coeloneuron).
Whatever name we may finally apply to these plants, they possess some
of the most outstandingly beautiful foliage that I have ever seen on a
rhododendron. The upper surface of the new leaves has a grayish
indumentum which eventually falls off to reveal a shiny dark green and
heavily bullate surface. The lower surface of the leaves is covered
with a thick woolly reddish brown bistrate indumentum. The flowers
should be light pink to rose or reddish with spots or a blotch. Native
to China (C & S Sichuan, NE Yunnan & NW Guizhou) in various habitats
from 7,250 to 11,000 ft. (I have seen it on hot exposed cliffs, in
wet meadows and in forests!).
375sd1996 SEH#026:RSBG (0'\R1\4). My own collection from 9,700 ft.
in S Sichuan, China. A paler, almost whitish indumentum on the
upper leaf surface on this collection. Quite different in
appearance from SEH#153.
491sd1996 SEH#153:RSBG (0'\R1\4). My own collection from 8,400 ft.
in NE Yunnan, China.
(natural hybrid of adenogynum)
Shrubs, 3 to 10 ft. Flowers (May) are pink with purple flecks.
Included for historical interest. Collected at the Sungkwei
divide, Yunnan from 10,000 to 11,000 ft. on rocky slopes. China
76/189 RBG (0).
77/673 CRA (0). Flowers pink with purple flecks.
Tropical shrubs, 2 to 7 ft. Flowers (variable flowering time) pure
white with the scent of carnations. Native to New Guinea where it
is typically epiphytic in rain forest from 2,600 to 4,600 ft., descending
along gorges down to 1,600 ft.
83/063 SCHI (+32).
Shrubs or small trees to 45 ft. Fragrant flowers (June) are
white, sometimes flushed rose and heavily scented. Native to
mixed subtropical forests and open thickets from 6,000 to 11,000
ft. Burma, China
75/104 'Garganyua' WGP (0). An award form with large white
flowers shaded green toward the base. Triploid. AM 1953, FCC
dichroanthum ssp apodectum
The leaves are generally a little smaller and shinier in
this subspecies and the indumentum is silvery to fawn.
Occurs at the south end of the range of the species from
10,000 to 12,000 ft.
65/286 ECK ((5\R1\2). Orange-vermilion flowers with a
small calyx (34C tube with 34A lobes).
77/732 F#27359:WIND ((5\R1\2). Flowers orange flushed
vermilion (32C) with small same colored calyx.
dichroanthum ssp. dichroanthum
Compact mounding evergreen shrubs. The fleshy narrowly
bell-shaped flowers (late spring to early summer) are deep
orange, orange, yellow flushed rose, crimson or carmine, often
with a large cupular calyx. The leaves have a silvery
compacted indumentum on the underside. A choice and
interesting late-blooming species with distinctly-colored
flowers. Often used in hybridizing for its unusual flower
colors and late season of bloom. Relatively sun and
heat-tolerant. Native to W Yunnan, China where it is endemic
to the Cang Shan, occurring in rocky ravines and open meadows
from 9,000 to 12,000 ft.
75/147 ROBB ((5\R1\2). Flowers orange (32B) flushed brick
red with a large cupular calyx of the same color in this AM form.
524sd1998 CCHH#8262:RSBG (- 5\R1\2). Grown from my collection
of seed at 10,200 ft. in a deep boulder-filled ravine.
dichroanthum ssp. scyphocalyx
The flowers are orange to yellow flushed rose or yellow with
a large and colorful calyx in this subspecies. The leaves
have a thin fawn to gray indumentum on the underside and are
not shiny on the upper surface. Native to W Yunnan, China and
NE Upper Burma from 10,000 to 14,000 ft. in various open habitats.
65/307 CRA ((5\R1\2). Dark orange flowers (35B) flushed gold
on the lobes (34A) with a large greenish orange cupular calyx.
65/307 CRA (+5). Bronze-orange bells that reminded Kingdon-
Ward of marmalade, but glow like orange stained glass when the
light shines through.
66/560 (dichroanthum ssp. herpesticum) F 27089: WGP (0).
Light persimmon orange flowers on a dwarf spreading plant under
2 ft. in height.
80/047 BH (+5)
82/175 TC:JORG ((5\R1\2). Dark orange flowers (35B) flushed
gold on the lobes (34A) with a large greenish orange cupular
calyx. The flowers may be a little more orange in this clone
(?), otherwise identical to 65/307.
Tropical epiphytic or terrestrial evergreen shrubs with small
elliptic-oblong leaves arranged in pseudowhorls. The young
leaves and stems are densely covered with brown scales giving
the entire plant an attractive brownish green appearance. The
flowers are narrowly bell-shaped and pink in color. An easy
and free-blooming vireya. Native to forests and grassy
openings from 3,900 to 6,500 ft. in Papua New Guinea.
83/060 PS (+32). Pink-flowered form collected wild in New
85/019 USDA 354304 (+32) Light pink.
85/022 USDA 354305 (+32) Pink flowers.
Shrubs, 2 to 8 ft. Flowers (January-April) extremely variable in
terms of both bloom time and color. Can be white, pink, rose, purple,
salmon, red, or yellow, including various shades of each and
bicolored forms. May be heavily marked with flecks or blotches or
not marked at all. Native to Upper Myanmar and China (NW & W Yunnan,
SE Xizang, and SW Sichuan). Occurs in various habitats from 10,000
to 14,000 ft.
77/735 (eclecteum var. brachyandrum) KW#5732:WIND (+5). Crimson
flowers in this form.
Not listed in the reclassification by Dr. J. Cullen. Considered
by other authorities to be a natural hybrid of R. nivale ssp.
boreale or synonymous with R. tapetiforme. Upright or mat-forming
shrubs to 3 ft. Wide, funnel-shaped flowers (May-June) are blue-
purple and valued because they appear later than most species in
the Lapponica subsection. Grows on moorlands and among heaths at
12,000 to 16,000 ft. China (Yunnan, Sichuan, SE Tibet).
84/082 K&P (0)
Open-growing evergreen shrubs with smooth and shiny peeling
bark. The distinctive glossy leaves are extremely attractive
with a heavily puckered (bullate) texture above and a thick
tawny indumentum below. The fragrant flowers appear in late
spring and are quite spectacular, ranging in color from white
to white flushed pink or pink, sometimes with a yellow blotch.
Requires sharp drainage in a protected site. Native over a
wide area from India (Sikkim, W Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh) &
Bhutan to E Burma and China (Yunnan & S Tibet). Found from
6,000 to 13,000 ft. growing as an epiphyte or on cliffs and
rocks in forests. A spectacular species and a favorite of all
who grow it.
65/383 Bodnant (+5\R2\6). The large fragrant flowers are white
flushed rose with yellow-green flecks on this relatively hardy
1946 AM form (as bullatum).
73/030 (syn. bullatum) FM: CS: PHB (+10). White flowers
flushed pink with a fragrance reminiscent of carnations.
84/038 RBG: MCK (+15)
88/035 KW#20836:Schick (+5'\R2\6). I have not recorded
flower data on this clone grown from KW seed (probably actually
#20839 or 20840) collected in the "Triangle" of N Burma.
95/056 Glendoick (+5'\R2\6). This is one of the FCC forms
(as bullatum) which is actually not much better than other
'superior' clones that I have seen.
324sd1998 CCHH#8016:RSBG (+5'\R2\6). This is a
collection we made in 1997 on the famous Shweli/Salween
divide on the Yunnan border with Burma. The plants were
growing on an outcropping of boulders rising from the
evergreen forest on the very top of the pass at 7,500
ft. We were immediately struck by the beautiful foliage
which possessed the thickest and deepest-colored
orange-brown indumentum any of us had ever seen. Peter
Cox noted that it was the finest foliage he had ever
seen on an edgeworthii in all of his years in Asia.
Garratt Richardson managed to bloom one of his seedlings
and amazingly, the flowers were also exceptional in size
and thick, lustrous texture. If you grow nothing else in
containers you have to grow this plant!
481sd1998 CCHH#8209:RSBG (+5'\R2\6). Another 1997
collection from extreme NW Yunnan near the border with
SE Tibet at 9,000 ft. These seedlings have a more
typical (but still lovely) pale tan indumentum.
Rounded evergreen shrubs with narrowly elliptic foliage. The
lower surface of the young leaves is covered with a thick and
woolly pinkish indumentum. As the foliage ages, this
indumentum deepens to a dark reddish-brown. The flowers (early
to mid-spring) are pink to white strongly flushed pink with
reddish spots. This species has above average flowers for a
member of this subsection, abundantly blooming for us every
year. The distinctive and beautiful foliage makes this one of
the most highly sought after of all species. Closely related
to R. bureavii but much more tolerant of sun and a more
profuse bloomer (with us). Native to a small area of SW
Sichuan, China where it occurs around treeline at 12,000 to
81/129 UWA (0). Small leaf form. Rose flowers with a few
maroon flecks and frilled corolla lobes.
Large upright evergreen shrubs or small trees with tomentose
and glandular young stems. The lanceolate to elliptic leaves
have an attractive indumentum on both surfaces when they first
emerge in mid- to late summer. The stunning funnel bell-shaped
flowers (late spring to mid-summer) are scarlet to crimson
with deeper-colored nectar pouches and spots. An attractive
and rarely grown species which is vulnerable to early autumn
frosts due to the late emergence of the new foliage. One of
the most impressive of all red-flowered rhododendrons when
grown well. Native only to NE India where it occurs in forests
from 8,000 to 9,000 ft.
77/561 Caperci (+15\R1\5). Bright red flowers with numerous
88/081 KW#19083:SCHI (+15\R1\5). I am unable to accurately
provide flower color data on this species as it is kept in
a cool greenhouse which tends to "bleach-out" the flowers.
A spectacular plant for mild areas.
Shrubs to 15 ft. Flowers (March-April) are white to pink to
purple. Native to subtropical forests, on stream banks and
gravelly slopes at 100 to 8,000 ft. China, Taiwan
73/094 USDA 325023: (+10) Form with lightly grayed-pink
fragrant flowers in early May.
Shrubs to 3 ft. Flowers (July) are red to purple, rose, pink or
white. Natural hybrids of this species and R. indicum, which grow
together on Yaku Island, are considered the first of the Satsuki
Hybrids. With a limited distribution on Kyushu Island and those
to the south including, Tanegashima, Yakushima, and Takarashima
in thickets and open woodland. Found at low elevations from sea
level to rocky hillsides. Japan
80/014 (tamurae) USNA (+10). From seed collected on Yaku
98/736 USNA#57106 (+5?\R1\2). White flowers on this clone
collected wild on Ioiima Island, south of Kagoshima, Japan.
Trees to 20 ft. Flowers (March) are rose-pink to crimson. Limited
distribution in the wild among fir forests at 9,000 to 12,500 ft.
65/251 STR: UBC (+10). Form with rose-pink flowers.
76/024 REU: VVN (+10). Red flowers. Very distinct specie
eudoxum var. eudoxum
Shrubs to 4 ft. Flowers (April) are rose-pink to carmine, rarely
white. Found on rocky slopes, thickets, gullies and cliffs at
11,000 to 14,000 ft. China
76/GLE: DG: VVN (+5). Bright rose flowers. AM 1960.
76/174 R 59483: RBG (+5)
Dwarf epiphytic evergreen shrubs with small, thick and
leathery, elliptic to oblong leaves. The stems have a dense
coating of somewhat raised brown scales for a slightly rough
appearance and feel. The small but bright yellow flowers hang
singly or in pairs from the tips of the branches. They are
bell-shaped with widely flaring lobes. A new introduction into
cultivation, this is one of several closely related taxa to be
introduced recently from S Yunnan and adjacent N Vietnam. Many
of these have only recently been described as new species by
Chinese botanists. Having observed and grown plants from
several collections made as various of these "species" I feel
that a reduction to two or three distinct taxa is in order as
little if anything separates them morphologically. Whatever
name is finally applied to these collections, they make
interesting and unusual plants for pot culture or extremely
well-drained situations mimicking their natural habitats.
Found around 6,000 ft. as an epiphyte or on rocks, cliffs and
old stumps and logs in S Yunnan Province, China and adjacent
areas of N Vietnam.
99/400 AC#446:Smith,E.W. (+15'\R2\2'). Well-branched and
rooted, cutting-grown plants. I have accessioned several
virtually identical seedlings from the above collection as
well as AC#350 (both of which were collected as R.
emarginatum). You will receive any one of these clones as
supplies warrant. The specific collection number and our
accession number will be attached to your plant for your
99/424 AC#446:Smith,E.W. (+15'\R2\2'). Well-branched and
rooted, cutting-grown plants. I have accessioned several
virtually identical seedlings from the above collection as
well as AC#350 and KR#3080 (all of which were collected as
R. emarginatum). You will receive any one of these clones
as supplies warrant. The specific collection number and our
accession number will be attached to your plant for your
Shrubs, 3 to 15 ft. Flowers (March) are brick-red, scarlet or
dusty pink. Young foliage is purplish-green. Found on open
ridges, dense thickets and fir forests at 9,500 to 12,000 ft.
India (Arunachal Prakesh), NE Burma, China (SE Tibet).
76/137 KW 8250: RBG (+10). Red flowers.
81/139 KW 8250: RBG (+10)
faberi ssp. prattii
Shrubs to 10 ft. Flowers (April-May) are white sometimes with a
scarlet basal blotch. Beautiful foliage with slightly larger
leaves than related subspecies. Native to thickets and cliffs
from 8,500 to 14,000 ft. China
67/683 (prattii) Corsock 2nd prize (0).
80/115 (prattii) HER (0)
84/059 (prattii 'Perry Wood') BRO (0). Flowers white flushed
red-purple in the throat. Am 1967
These are seedlings grown from seed collected wild on Mt. Fan
Si Pan in North Vietnam at 9,100 ft. as R. irroratum (which
they obviously are not). The stellate hairs on the foliage
indicate that this is a member of the distinctive subsection
Parishia. This seems to be closely related to the red-flowered
R. facetum or possibly R. kyawii, both of which are unrecorded
from this region. According to Keith Rushforth and Dr. David
Chamberlain, who have also collected this taxon in the area,
it may even be a new species. It has the same late growth
(flushing its new shoots and leaves in mid-summer) covered
with downy pale brown indumentum as that seen in the above
mentioned species. Whatever name is finally applied to this
taxon, it should be a valuable brilliant red, late-flowering
addition for gardens in mild climates. Best in light shade
with plenty of moisture when the new growth appears.
573sd96 96ARS#305:RSBG (+10\R1\6). Nice large plants with
stunning new growth. These have survived +13 F° in containers
in our hoops with no damage.
351sd1998 CCHH#8053:RSBG (+10\R1\6). Grown from my collection
of seed at 9,500 ft. in the Biluoxue Shan of W Yunnan, China.
One of the best reds in the genus.
falconeri ssp. eximium
Trees 10 to 30 ft. Flowers (April-May) are pink to rose with
darker tips. Limited distribution in the wild. Found in moist
shady mixed forests at 9,000 to 11,000 ft. India
77/738 (eximium) WGP (+10)
falconeri ssp. falconeri
Large evergreen shrubs or small trees, up to 80 ft. in the
wild. The magnificent large leaves are rugose on the upper
surface with a dense woolly red-brown to brownish indumentum
on the lower and can be up to one foot in length. The flowers
(mid- to late spring) are bell-shaped in a large dense rounded
inflorescence. They range in color from white to cream or pale
yellow and have a purplish blotch. An outstanding ornamental
plant, one of the finest of the "big-leafed" species. The
flowers of this species are among the longest lasting in the
genus. Best in a woodland situation or light shade. Native to
the eastern Himalaya where it occurs in forests from 9,000 to
504sd97 SEH#517:RSBG (+5\R1\5). My own collection from 10,500
ft. in the West Bengal, Indian Himalaya. Many, if not most of
the R. falconeri I have seen in gardens and collections are
actually garden origin hybrids. The real thing. Distinctive
and beautiful foliage on these seedlings. NOTE: Comparable
plants of other SEH# collections of this species from the same
area will be substituted if necessary.
510sd1997 SEH#524:RSBG (+5\R1\5). My own collection from 10,100 ft.
in the Sikkim Himalaya. Many, if not most of the R. falconeri
I have seen in gardens and collections are actually garden
origin hybrids. The real thing. Distinctive and beautiful
foliage on these seedlings. NOTE: Comparable plants of other
SEH# collections of this species from the same area will be
substituted if necessary.
633sd1997 SEH#519:RSBG (+5\R1\5). Grown from my collection of
seed at 9,875 ft. in the West Bengal, Indian Himalaya
Semi-evergreen shrubs to 2 ft. Flowers (June) are pale lavender
to dark purplish-pink with crimson flecks. Native to mountainous
regions at 6,500 ft. China
78/037 REU-WEB (+20). Form with light lavender flowers.
Dwarf compact evergreen shrubs, often prostrate in habit, with tiny
blue-green, scaly leaves. Similar to the closely related impeditum
but with glaucous bluish foliage compared to the deep green of the
latter species. Usually incorrectly labeled as impeditum in the trade.
The flowers (mid-spring) are pale purple to deep blue-purple (or pinkish).
Very floriferous and relatively easy to grow if provided with good
drainage and full sun. One of the best lapponicas for ornamental
qualities and all-around garden use. Native to central and N Yunnan,
China where it occurs in various habitats from 10,500 to 16,000 ft.
73/101 J. Henry-PHB (0). Tight dwarf with grayed new growth
and bright purple flowers.
75/258 Rock 84: ACB (-15). Form with bright purple flowers.
81/140 Forrest 5847: RBG (-15). Form with lavender-blue
540sd1996 SEH#214:RSBG (- 10\R1\1). Grown from my collection
of seed on the top of the Wumeng Shan in NE Yunnan, China at
12,750 ft. A very good form with blue-green leaves and large
Large evergreen shrubs or small trees with smooth silvery to purple-
red bark. The oblanceolate leaves are smooth and three to five inches
long. The flowers (mid-spring) are pale rose to white flushed rose or
rarely sulfur-yellow. They usually have some purple spotting and are
similar in shape to the blossoms of thomsonii. Native only to SE
Tibet from 8,500 to 10,900 ft. in forests and on rock faces.
77/735 KW#5732:Windsor (0\R1\5). Magenta-rose flowers with
darker nectaries and numerous spots.
80/089 LS&E 12045: RBG (+10). Form with pink flowers.
91/028 TB#8605:Berg (0 to +5\R1\5). This clone grown from
seed collected wild by Warren Berg on the Doshong La in SE
Tibet at 10,700 ft. Good flowers on plants from this collection.
531sd95 RSBG (0 to +5?\R1\5). Grown from seed collected wild in
SE Tibet at around 10,500 ft. from a plant with unspotted flowers.
525sd95 RSBG (0 to +5?\R1\5). Grown from seed collected wild in
SE Tibet at around 10500 ft. from plants with more typical
Compact and low-growing evergreen shrubs, typically wider than
tall. A well known and hardy dwarf species, the famous
"Alpenrose" of the European Alps. Not very heat tolerant and
requiring sharp drainage to grow well. The flowers (early to
mid-summer) are pale or deep pink to rosy-crimson, rarely
white. Common in open moorland, forests and in pine scrub.
Native to the Pyrenees and Alps from 3,000 to 7,000 ft.
76/381 GLE: UBC (-10). Form with pink flowers.
259sd93 RSBG (- 15'\R2\2). Grown from seed collected in the
Swiss Alps at 7,900 ft. Beautiful bushy plants.
103sd1999 RSBG (- 15'\R2\2). Grown from seed collected at
6,300 ft. by Garratt Richardson in the French Pyrenees.
Shrubs to 8 ft. Flowers (May) are scarlet, orange to pink, salmon
and yellow. A heat tolerant species that may be less hardy than
more northern American azaleas. Deciduous, with reddish-orange
autumn leaves. Limited distribution in Georgia and South
Carolina. Found at low elevations in the shade or red clay
bluffs, open woods and on wooded slopes. SE USA
75/030 (syn. speciosum) FG (+5). Collected wild on Pine
76/286 (syn. speciosum) USNA (+5). Collected wild in Burke
County, GA Red-orange flowers.
flavidum var. flavidum
Columnar shrubs to 8 ft. Flowers (April) are pale yellow. A
demanding species with very limited distribution in the wild.
Native to alpine regions from 10,000 to 13,000 ft. China
73/106 FR-PHB (-5). Early light lemon flowers sparkle
against shiny dark green leaves.
76/385 STR-UBC (-5). Form with yellow flowers.
Low mounding evergreen shrubs with pale yellow flowers in
mid-spring. An excellent foliage plant with attractive
red-brown, smooth and peeling bark. The glossy leaves are
impressed with a fine pattern of veins and are fringed on
their margins with long hairs. The hardiest Maddenia and the
parent of many fine dwarf yellow hybrids. A great all-around
plant with a compact habit, attractive features and tolerance
of both sun and dry soils. Found in forests and alpine regions
from 9,500 to 14,000 ft. in SE Tibet and adjacent NW Yunnan, China.
65/355 BRO (0). Flowers yellow in bud opening to pale
69/831 BRA: MVW (0). Light yellow flowers.
74/071 'Yellow Bunting' GLE (0). An Award of Merit form
(1964) with soft yellow flowers.
76/105 WEB (0)
Vigorous, large and open-growing evergreen shrubs with hairy
leaves. This new species to cultivation has unusual flowers in
mid-spring with a long narrow tube and flaring lobes. They
emerge cream with pale pink stripes, changing to pure white
with a green-gold blotch in the throat. Requires excellent
drainage. Only recently collected (in the early 1990's) by
Keith Rushforth who found it in Vietnam. An exciting and
distinctive new species for the collector.
96/040 KR#3286:Millais (+15'\R2\6). Great new plant for
a container, conservatory or mild climate garden.
floccigerum ssp. floccigerum
Shrubs, 1 to 10 ft. Flowers (March-April) are usually crimson to
scarlet, sometimes orange, yellow or pink. Early flowering.
Commonly found on cliffs and open scrublands at 9,000 to 13,000
69/763 GRE: MVW (+15)
69/764 Rock 32: CHP-MVW (0). Form selected for its bright
orange-red pendulous flowers.
Upright shrubs or small trees to 20 ft., with indumented foliage.
Flowers (April) are magenta rose fading to pink with crimson
flecks and basal blotch. Flowers tend to have a bluish cast and
appear at a young age. Native to woodlands from 4,000 to 8,500
79/179 Exbury-UBC PP (-10). Tall shrub growing to 6 ft. in
10 yrs. Has flowers that are rose or purple with a dark
crimson blotch. An Award form (AM).
65/279 W#4266:BOR ((10). Flowers rose-purple with a burgundy
blotch and red-purple flecks.
forrestii ssp. forrestii
Dwarf prostrate and creeping evergreen shrublets rarely more
than 6 inches high. The exquisite bell-shaped flowers
(mid-spring) are crimson to scarlet and quite large in scale
with the attractive foliage. A beautiful alpine species with
heavily-veined, rounded to ovate foliage. Requires excellent
drainage and a cool but open position such as a north-facing
slope. Found in dense alpine thickets and on boulders and
cliffs from 10,000 to 15,000 ft. in NE Burma, E Arunachal
Pradesh and SW China (NW Yunnan and SE Tibet).
75/263 (forrestii var. repens) GREI:ROBB (0). Red flowers in
forrestii var. tumescens
Omitted form the new classification, a close relative of R.
forrestii ssp. papillatum. Dwarf creeping shrubs, rarely over 6".
Flowers (April) are crimson bells with larger leaves than other
subspecies. Found at 11,000 to 13,000 ft. China.
78/090 Exbury-CHP (0).
formosum var. formosum
Compact to open-growing evergreen shrubs with bristly young growth.
The narrowly elliptic dark green leaves are also bristly on their
margins. Large, openly funnel-bell-shaped flowers in mid- to late
spring. These range in color from white to white flushed pink,
often with a yellow blotch and some fragrance. One of the hardiest
of the maddenias, worth attempting in a sheltered position in the
maritime Pacific Northwest for example. Quite floriferous and easy
if provided with good drainage. Native to NE India where it occurs
along rivers and in forests from 2,000 to 6,000 ft.
65/370 (Iteophyllum Group) Brodick (+5\R2\4). Plants formerly
known as iteophyllum have extremely narrow leaves typically
only one half inch wide. More compact in a sunny location.
81/122 RBG-EK (+15). Form with white-pink scented flowers.
formosum var. inaequale
Open-growing to fairly compact evergreen shrubs with bristly
branchlets. The margins and the petioles of the leaves are also
typically bristly. The large and extremely fragrant, openly funnel
bell-shaped flowers (mid-spring to early summer) are white with a
yellow blotch. An ideal species for pot culture in colder climates
as it is one of the most fragrant of rhododendrons. Requires
excellent drainage. Native to NE India where it occurs in a wide
variety of habitats from 2,000 to 6,000 ft.
70/185 LAM (+15\R2\6). Large fragrant white flowers with a
71/085 (inaequale) LAM (+32). White scented funnels over
three inches long.
forrestii ssp. forrestii
Dwarf prostrate and creeping evergreen shrublets rarely more than 6
inches high. The exquisite bell-shaped flowers (mid-spring) are
crimson to scarlet and quite large in scale with the attractive
foliage. A beautiful alpine species with heavily-veined, rounded to
ovate foliage. Requires excellent drainage and a cool but open
position such as a north-facing slope. Found in dense alpine
thickets and on boulders and cliffs from 10,000 to 15,000 ft. in
NE Burma, E Arunachal Pradesh and SW China (NW Yunnan and SE Tibet).
75/263 GREI:ROBB ((5\R2-3\1 foot across). Bright red flowers on
this floriferous clone.
76/175 (Tumescens Group) R#11169(USDA#59174):USDA ('5\R2\1). Red
flowers on this mounding form which is close to chamaethomsonii.
76/373 KW:WEB (0). Prostrate form with red flowers.
295sd1993 EGM#228:RSBG (- 5\R2\1). These are cutting-grown plants from
the original group of seedlings planted in the RSBG. These are among
the finest forms of this species that I have seen with many bearing
clusters of three, four or even five deep red flowers. Typical high
alpine, low and creeping form collected as seed by Ted Millais at
14,000 ft. on the Mekong\Salween divide in NW Yunnan. Some variation.
forrestii ssp. papillatum
Dwarf shrubs to 18 inches. Flowers (March-April) are crimson to
scarlet. Leaves pale fawn underneath and narrower than in ssp.
forrestii. Often mound-forming. Native in dense thickets on steep
hillsides, on or among boulders, and cliffs at 11,000 to 13,000
70/175 (syn. forrestii var. tumescens) R. 11169 (59174): GOR
(0). Crimson flowers.
80/116 (syn. forrestii var. tumescens) HER (0). Dome shaped
fortunes ssp. discolor
Shrubs or trees up to 23 feet. Large funnel-shaped flowers (May-
June) are white to shell pink and fragrant. Variable in flowering
dates due to the wide range of collected material. Smooth oblong
leaves. Grows from 3,000 to 7,000 ft. in open woods. China
66/561 (discolor) WGP (-5)
75/064 (discolor) WAK (-5). Form with fragrant white flowers.
75/136 (houlstonii) GAB (-10). Form with fragrant light pink
flowers and a streaking red blotch at the base.
82/140 (discolor) BRP This clone has pink buds opening to white
flowers with yellow-green flecks.(-5)
28sd2000 RSBG (- 10\R1\8). These are seedlings grown from our
1983/042 (the AM form 'John R. Elcock') selfed
fortunei ssp. fortunei
Shrubs or trees to 30 ft. Flowers (May) are pale lilac to pale
pink and fragrant. Leaves with purple petioles. Found in mountain
woodlands at 2,000 to 3,000 ft. China
76/029 GAB-VVN (-10). Form with lilac-pink flowers.
76/340 HLL: CHP (0).
82/026 SLO: KWG (0). Light pink flowers.
83/168 BAL: GB (-10)
131sd2000 RSBG (- 10\R1\8). These are seedlings grown from a
controlled cross here at the RSBG between 1976/340
("Phetteplace best form" w/ pastel pink flowers) x 1964/055
Mounding dwarf shrubs rarely exceeding 1 ft. in height. Flowers
(May) are strawberry-red to purple. A distinct species that is
very difficult to propagate, thus rare in cultivation. Found on
open hillsides and pastures from 12,000 to 15,000 ft. Bhutan,
75/271 REU-DG (0). Form with bright pinkish-purple flowers.
81/141 LS&E 15828: RBG (0). Strawberry-red flowers.
Shrubs, 4 to 15 ft. Flowers (March-April) are scarlet to blood-
red, with darker nectar pouches. Often compact plants with
indumented leaves and peeling reddish maroon bark. Native to
mixed forests of conifers and rhododendrons at 10,000 to 14,000
ft. E Nepal, Bhutan, NE India, China
75/106 LEO-WGP (0).
Shrubs or small trees to 25 ft. Flowers (March-April) are white
to pink usually with a crimson basal blotch. Of exceptional
garden value for the leaf indumentum, which is rusty-brown to
fawn in color, and the peeling bark. Found in open thickets and
conifer forests at 9,000 to 15,500 ft. China, Burma
64/156 CRA (0). Pink flowers in April. Leaf indumentum
produces a cinnamon orange glow.
80/079 SUN: CH (0). White flowers.
Shrubs or trees, 15 to 20 feet. Flowers (May) are white or pale
rose with a crimson basal blotch. Dark gray-green foliage with
fawn to cinnamon indumentum. A distinct member of the Falconera
Subsection because of its ovoid and tomentose terminal foliage
buds and the ovary without hairs. This species collected only one
time by E.H. Wilson in 1910. Limited distribution in western
Sichuan province. Native to evergreen forests and thickets around
10,000 ft. China
75/165 FRY-WW (-5)
79/110 W 4254: BH (-5)
Shrubs to 15 ft. Flowers (April-May) are red-purple. Bark is
smooth and purplish. Found in scrub, thickets and on forest
margins at 8,000 to 14,000 ft. N Burma, China
77/690 KW 20682:BRO (+25).
372sd1998 CCHH#8080:RSBG (+10\R2\4). Grown from my collection
of seed at 8,200 ft. in the Biluoxue Shan of W Yunnan.
Fortunea A newly introduced species forming large rounded shrubs (as seen
in the wild). The foliage is quite large (10-12 inches long) and
elliptic to oblong-lanceolate in shape. The new growth is densely
covered with stipitate glands and emerges in mid- to late summer.
The new leaves are an incredible bright red-purple for an
outstanding display of color late in the season. The fragrant
white flowers are funnel-campanulate with 6-7 lobes and are also
densely covered with stipitate glands on the outer surface. As
illustrated in the Encyclopedia of Rhododendron Species by Peter
and Kenneth Cox, the flowers are somewhat similar in appearance
to the flowers of R. auriculatum. Thought to be very rare in the
wild, this species is known from only three sites in NE Yunnan
(and adjacent N Guizhou') where it was observed between 7,000
and 9,000 ft. in cut-over scrub. This should prove to be an
excellent and popular addition to the growing palette of newly
503sd1996 SEH#174:RSBG (0 to +5\R1\6). My own collection
from around 8,000 ft. in NE Yunnan, China. You will love this.
These are seedlings grown from seed collected at 4,460 ft. in the
Dalou Shan region of northern Guizhou Province, China. This is
almost surely R. glanduliferum, an exciting new introduction which
has only recently been collected (1995) in NE Yunnan, China and
was first offered by us in last year's catalog. This seed was
collected (as "unknown subsection Fortunea") from a large vigorous
evergreen tree about 23 ft. in height growing in a light scrubby
forest of Carpinus sp., Tilia sp., Weigela florida, Decaisnea
fargesii, Stachyurus sp. and Magnolia sprengeri var. diva.
Should be a fantastic new introduction with large fragrant white
240sd95 PW#39:RSBG (+5?\R1\6?). Large vigorous plants with
stunning reddish new growth. NOTE: this was distributed by us
in the 1997 catalog as "Subsection Fortunea".
glaucophyllum var. glaucophyllum
Compact and spreading to somewhat upright and open evergreen
shrubs with smooth and peeling reddish brown to purplish bark.
The fragrant foliage on this attractive species is glossy
green above and glaucous white beneath with brown and yellow
scales. The bell-shaped flowers (mid- to late spring) are pink
to rose, purplish or rarely white. A great species for the
woodland garden or in a more exposed situation where it will
remain a bit more compact. Native to the eastern end of the
Himalaya where it occurs in a wide variety of habitats from
9,000 to 12,000 ft.
65/491 COR (+10). Deep Pink flowers with darker spots.
75/025 Hilliers (+5 to 0\R1\2-3). Pink flowers with darker
95/074 CH&M#3114:GLE (+5 to 0\R1\2-3). Our first offering of
this clone with pink flowers which was collected in the wild.
584sd97 SEH#598:RSBG (+5 to 0\R1\2-3). My own collection from
10,500 ft. in the Sikkim Himalaya.
glaucophyllum var. tubiforme
This variety differs from var. glaucophyllum in its more
tubular flowers with a long straight style. The typical
variety has a shorter, sharply bent style. Native to E Bhutan,
W Arunachal Pradesh & SE Tibet. This variety is far less
common than the typical in cultivation and may be a natural
hybrid according to Cullen.
75/025 HIL (+5). Clear pink flowers.
76/233 BRO (0). Form with pink flowers in April.
glischrum ssp. rude
Rounded evergreen shrubs with densely bristly-glandular
branchlets. The leaves have deeply impressed veins and bristly
hairs on the upper surface. The lower surface has a hairy and
bristly indumentum. The stunning flowers (mid-spring) are pink
to purple-pink and variously marked with deeper red or crimson. A
rare but highly sought after species in cultivation. Best in light
shade. Native to SE Tibet and NW Yunnan, China where it occurs
primarily in forests from 11,000 to 12,000 ft.
64/150 (rude) Glenarn-UBC BG (+5)
B#9810 RSBG (0\R1\4). These are seedlings grown by
Warren Berg from a hand-pollinated cross in his own garden.
138sd1999 RSBG (0\R1\4). These are seedlings grown from a
hand-pollination here in the RSBG between 1966/566 (KW#10952
from Windsor) x 1964/150 (AM form from Glenarn).
Upright, branching tropical shrubs. Flowers (flowering time
varies) are white. Coriaceous leaves, in pseudowhorls, are
elliptic to obovate-elliptic in shape. Uncommon in cultivation
and collected only once, from the slopes of Mt. Goodenough on the
island of New Guinea. SE Papua New Guinea.
83/053 P. Schick (+32). White flowers.
Newly named species. This exciting new discovery makes a
large rounded evergreen shrub up to 30 feet high in the wild.
The long, quite narrowly lanceolate leaves are up to 10 inches
in length and are heavily impressed with veins on the upper
surface. The lower surface of the leaves is covered with a
thin indumentum of tufted hairs. The light red tubular
bell-shaped flowers appear in early spring and have darker
basal nectar pouches. A beautiful foliage species that we were
quite perplexed with while exploring the northwestern corner
of Yunnan in the fall of 1997. This species seems to have a
fairly limited range in the wild, having been collected (so
far) only in the extreme NW corner of Yunnan near the borders
with Tibet and Burma. Occurs in broad-leaved evergreen forest
from 6,900 to 8,200 ft.
393sd1998 CCHH#8110:RSBG (+10\R1\5). Our first offering of
this unusual new species. Grown from my collection of seed at
7,350 ft. in NW Yunnan. Only a few plants (this year) from the
original collection in 1997.
Tropical shrubs to 2 ft. Flowers (flowering time varies) red to
pink. Makes fine basket plant. Native to mountain tops at 6,500
to 9,000 ft. Papua New Guinea
78/103 HW: FM (+32). Dark red tubular flowers.
Massive evergreen shrubs or trees with leaves up to 18 inches
in length. This species forms forests in the eastern Himalaya,
often attaining 50 ft. in height with a single trunk. In
cultivation this species generally forms a large
wide-spreading shrub or small tree. The magnificent foliage is
a shiny green on the upper surface with a white, silvery or
fawn, typically plastered indumentum on the lower. The flowers
(early to mid-spring) are bell-shaped in a large,
many-flowered inflorescence ("truss"). They range in color
from white to cream or yellowish (sometimes pinkish) with
purple nectar pouches, blotches and spots. Best in a sheltered
position as the growth emerges early in the season. Needs
adequate summer irrigation to reach full potential. Native to
forests from 7,000 to 10,500 ft. in the eastern Himalaya.
66/554 LOG (+10).
71/338 BROD (+10)
81/109 BS (+10). Form collected in Sikkim.
517sd97 SEH#531:RSBG (+15 to +10\R1\6). My own collection from
glossy-leafed specimens growing at 8,900 ft. in the Sikkim
Himalaya. Stunning red-purple new growth on these seedlings.
The real thing.
Open-growing evergreen shrubs with bristly-pubescent and
glandular branchlets. The lower surface of the leaves is
covered with a thick layer of whitish to pale brown woolly
indumentum. A very free-blooming species with deep rose to
scarlet or crimson flowers in mid- to late summer. Very
distinct and attractive and often used in hybridizing for
its large and brightly colored blossoms. Quite tolerant of
sun and heat. Native to various open situations at 7,000
to 9,000 ft. in W Yunnan, China and NE Upper Burma.
77/284 LJP (+10)
306sd95 95ARS#293 (+5 to +10?\R1\4). Seedlings from Exbury
form x Whitney form.
Large evergreen shrubs or small trees with smooth and peeling
reddish bark. Smooth, very "rhododendron-looking" leaves which
can be up to one foot in length. The widely bell-shaped, often
fragrant flowers (mid- to late spring) are some of the largest
and most spectacular in the genus. They are pure white to
white blushed rose and up to three inches long by six inches
across. A stunning ornamental plant with attractive bark and
really amazing flowers. The parent of many excellent hybrids
(yes hybrids can be pretty nice sometimes) including the
'Loderi' grex. Needs a protected site for best performance,
quite vigorous if happy and can be grown in a container for
many years in colder climates. Native to forests in the
eastern Himalaya from 6,000 to 9,500 ft.
81/115 SMI.B (+20). A clone grown from seed collected in
Sikkim by Britt Smith.
80/099 BEN (+20). Flowers are pink fading to white.
488sd97 SEH#501:RSBG (+10'\R1\6). My own collection from 6,900
ft. in the West Bengal, Indian Himalaya.
509sd97 SEH#523:RSBG (+10'\R1\6). My own collection from 8,850
ft. in the Sikkim Himalaya.
519sd97 SEH#533:RSBG (+10'\R1\6). My own collection from 8,850
ft. in a different region of the Sikkim Himalaya where many of
the plants had pink-flushed flowers.
haematodes ssp. chaetomallum
Typically dense and compact evergreen shrubs with bristly young
shoots and petioles. A stunning foliage plant with a
thick, pale to dark fawn indumentum below, slightly impressed
veins and a persistent silvery indumentum above. The fleshy
flowers are scarlet to crimson or blood-red in mid- to late
spring. Requires excellent drainage and a cool position. A
common and widespread species in the wild where it is found in
various montane habitats from 10,000 to 15,000 ft. in NE Upper
Burma, NW Yunnan, China & SE Tibet.
74/065 KW#:Glendoick (- 5\R3\3). Bright glossy red flowers.
75/294 KW#20177:PHET ((5\R3\3). Nice bushy plants.
75/306 F#20333:Phetteplace (- 5\R3\3). Glossy blood-red flowers.
75/300 R 39: CHP (0). Brilliant red flowers.
311sd97 JN#493:RSBG (- 5\R3\3). I am excited to offer these
beautiful seedlings grown from the first reintroduction of
this choice species since 1949. The seed was collected wild at
12,100 near Weixi on the Mekong/Salween divide in NW Yunnan,
haematodes ssp. haematodes
Dense and compact evergreen shrubs with densely tomentose young
shoots. A free-blooming and easily grown species with attractive
foliage and flowers. The leaves have a thick rufous indumentum on
the underside. The flowers (late spring to early summer) are scarlet
to crimson. Native from 11,000 to 13,000 ft. in W Yunnan, China
where it occurs in alpine meadows and Rhododendron thickets.
70/043 Frye:Wood ('5\R1\3).
75/145 ROBB ((5\R1\3). Bright scarlet flowers on this FCC form.
77/742 WGP (0). An award form with bright scarlet flowers FCC
80/118 HOB: TJ (0)
82/176 HOB: TJ (0) A hardy and small form in this clone.
Bright red flowers.
Dwarf to semi-dwarf shrubs, 1 to 6 ft. Flowers (April-May) white
to yellow. Most forms in cultivation are more dwarf than typically
found in the wild. Restricted to a small area around Mt. Omei in Sichuan
Province, China. Found in thickets and on cliffs from 4,000 to 5,000 ft
65/476 ('Nanum') ROW (-5). A much confused species with
numerous plants bearing var. nanum labels, but not the
combination of small leaves and bright yellow flowers of this
70/008 FR (0). Bright green foliage and well shaped.
heliolepis var. brevistylum
Shrubs, 6 to 15 ft. Flowers (June) are white to rose-purple to
violet, often spotted. Found in rocky gullies and conifer forests
at 10,000 to 12,000 ft. China
66/622 (syn. brevistylum) WGP (-5). Cherry-rose flowers.
70/419 (pholidotum) Forrest 6762: RBG (0). Form with rose-
heliolepis var. heliolepis
Erect evergreen shrubs with fragrant foliage. Both leaf
surfaces are covered with large scales. The funnel-shaped
flowers (early to mid-summer) are white to pink with variously
colored spots and/or a blotch. A variable species prized for
its late season of bloom and attractively scented foliage,
especially when crushed or on warm sunny days. A widespread
species common over a large area of SW China (Sichuan, Yunnan
& Tibet) and adjacent areas of NE Upper Burma. Occurs in
various habitats from 8,000 to 12,500 ft.
65/374 RBG (0)
76/302 (fumidum) PC (0)
77/323 DG (0) Rose-pink flowers. Highly aromatic foliage.
84/002 CRA (0)
337sd1997 JN#299:RSBG (0\R1\5). These are grown from seed
collected wild near Weixi in NW Yunnan, China at 12,150 ft.
342sd1997 BH#106:RSBG (0\R1\5). Grown from seed collected
wild at 11,800 ft. in NW Yunnan, China.
361sd97 97ARS#508:RSBG (0\R1\5). These are grown from seed
collected wild (BH#159) on the Cang Shan in NW Yunnan, China
at 11,150 ft
Large upright evergreen shrubs to small trees with very distinctive
foliage. The leaves are large and ovate-elliptic in shape with a
deeply lobed base and unusual undulating margins. The large
fragrant white flowers appear in mid-summer. An unmistakable
species (see serotinum) with great character. Best in partial
shade or the woodland garden. Very rare in the wild, known
positively only from Emei Shan (Mt. Omei) in W Sichuan, China
where it occurs in forests and thickets from 3,600 to 6,550 ft.
73/133 ROBB (+5). Flowers white with a yellow-green flair
79/159 Hu#8823:WPA (0\R1\8). Fragrant white flowers.
These are large vigorous seedlings grown from seed collected by
Peter Cox and myself on the S Yunnan/N Vietnam border at around
9,000 ft. in 1995. It bears a remarkable resemblance to the
well-known species R. hemsleyanum (which is only known from Emei
Shan 450 miles north of this area in Sichuan Province!) with the
same auriculate leaf base and wavy margins. However, the leaves
are much narrower and the habit is more open. David Chamberlain
has seen what seems to be this same taxon in N Vietnam and feels
that it is actually closer to R. chihsinianum, a member of
subsection Auriculata which has only been collected 450 miles NE
of this area in Guangxi Province and is not known to be in
cultivation! The new growth emerges quite late in the spring
(even under cover) on these plants and so should miss the spring
frosts which can be so damaging to other species from southern
latitudes. Beautiful foliage and rapid growth on this exciting
and mysterious new introduction.
562sd96 SEH#242:RSBG (+10 to 0?\R1\8). Our first offering.
These should have large white and fragrant flowers sometime
in late spring or more likely, mid-summer. Large plants.
Erect-growing tropical evergreen shrubs with smooth elliptic
to rounded gray-green leaves arranged in pseudowhorls. The
fragrant white flowers have a long tubular corolla and abruptly
flared lobes (salverform). An easily grown species. Native to
heath-scrub and forests in Papua New Guinea from 5,000 to 8,200 ft.
89/004 RUTH (+32\R1\?).This clone collected wild on Mt. Kaindi.
89/008 RBG 614126: RBG (+32)
hippophaeoides var. hippophaeoides
Upright shrubs to 5 ft. Flowers (April) are bluish-purple to pale
lavender. Lovely shades of lavender blue are among the most
popular species of this subsection. Found on open marshy slopes
at 8,000 to 15,500 ft. China
66/592 (fimbriatum) GLE (-10). Form with bluish-purple
73/135 FR (-10). Form with lavender-blue flowers.
77/611 (fimbriatum) Glendoick (-10). Gray-green leaves and
soft lavender flowers.
78/115 SUN-CHP (-10). Form with violet-blue flowers.
80/067 R 11363 (USDA 59615):RBG: WGP (-10).
Compact and spreading shrubs to 3 ft. Flowers (June-July) are
pink, rarely white. Leaf margins bristly. The first rhododendron
to be brought into European cultivation in 1656. Common on the
Alps of southern France, through Switzerland, Italy, Germany, and
Austria, extending into northwestern Yugoslavia. Grows among
dwarf conifers and scrub on steep slopes and limestone formations
from 1,500 to 6,000 ft. C Europe
66/594 GLE (-5). Form with rose-pink flowers.
82/123 KWG (-5). Pink form collected in Austria.
Shrubs or small trees to 20 ft. Flowers (March-April) white, with or
without pink stripes, white flushed pink, pink or rose, with or
without a blotch and flecks. Bristly hairs on leaf petioles.
Native to SE Xizang, China. Grows in rocky areas above timberline
forming dense scrub, in forests of spruce and fir, shady
ravines, swamps, and on cliffs from 10,000 to 14,000 ft.
64/097 WGP (0). Form with flushed pink flowers.
70/161 L&S 3624: GLN-UBC (0). An award form with pink
75/049 KW#6223:NYM (0)
Large rounded and wide-spreading evergreen shrubs eventually
forming small trees up to 40 ft. in the wild. The new foliage
emerges with a shiny silvery indumentum which is quite showy
and distinctive. The undersurface of the leaves is covered
with a densely compacted silvery to brownish indumentum. The
pink to purple or reddish flowers (mid-spring) are arranged in
a large rounded inflorescence and may have a blotch. The pale
to deeper brownish bark on the older stems is smooth and
exfoliating, providing great ornamental appeal throughout the
year. An outstandingly attractive and relatively hardy
"big-leafed" species. Native in the eastern Himalaya where it
is quite common, occurring in various habitats from 9,500 to
65/330 COR (-5). Form with greyed rose-pink flowers.
76/191 RBG (-5)
226sd97 RSBG (- 5\R1\4). These are robust seedlings grown from
a controlled cross pollination here at the RSBG between 76/191
(RBGE form w/ ruby-red flowers) x 65/330 (Corsock form w/
magenta flowers). NOTE: those of you with limited space and a
preference may want to wait for next year's catalog which will
offer 2 or 3 selections of seedlings grown from my collections
from selected color forms in the Himalaya of Sikkim.
527sd1997 SEH#541:RSBG (- 5\R1\4). Grown from my collection of
seed at 11,000 ft. in the Sikkim Himalaya from a selected
plant with red flowers.
577sd1997 SEH#591:RSBG ('5\R1\4). My own collection from 10,500 ft.
in the Sikkim Himalaya from a selected plant with incredibly
dark red-purple flowers.
Compact evergreen shrubs with smallish (one or two
inches long) narrowly elliptic to rounded leaves. These are quite
smooth and glossy on both surfaces and an unusual but extremely showy
bright rose-purple when young. The flowers are borne singly in the
upper leaf axils. They are white with purple spots and flattened in
shape. A striking and unmistakable species for container or greenhouse
culture in all but the mildest regions. Native to SE China (Hong Kong
and adjacent Guangdong) where it occurs on rocky slopes from 1,000
to 4,000 ft.
77/779 Robinson (+15\R1\3). A real collector's item.
Shrubs, 5 to 15 ft. Flowers (March) white with violet to red-purple
flecks and often fragrant. New growth is typically an amazing purple.
Shrubs or small trees to 14 ft. Flowers (March-April) are deep
rose to crimson with darker nectar pouches. Small hook-like barbs
along the veins on the underleaf. Found in mixed forests from
8,000 to 12,000 ft. NE India (Arunachal Pradesh)
67/711 ECK-BEN (+10). Pink flowered form.
76/214 RBG (+10)
Shrubs to 10 ft. White to cream flowers (March-April) are flushed
pink, have a yellow blotch, and may be fragrant.Tender but
unusually free-flowering. Found on rocks, or epiphytic on trees
at 4,000 to 7,000 ft. N Burma
84/011 ARD (+32). Flowers are white flushed with pink.
87/053 KW 9403-RBG (+32)
90/069 RBGE:K&P (+32). We have not seen this clone flower yet.
Newly introduced into cultivation, this is a large evergreen
shrub or small tree (one specimen observed in S Sichuan was 28
ft. in height). The completely smooth foliage has an acuminate
to cuspidate apex (a long drawn out tip). The new growth is
spectacular with glossy olive-green leaves and bright purple
stems and petioles. The flowers are deep pink to rose-red or
purplish with darker nectar pouches and a large calyx (which
helps to separate this species from the closely related R.
davidii). This species was observed several times in 1995
during an expedition to S Sichuan & NE Yunnan, growing in
association with RR. asterochnoum, ochraceum, longipes,
strigillosum and lutescens to name but a few. Found in forests
from 3,250 to 9,500 ft. in S Sichuan, NE Yunnan & NE Guizhou,
China. An outstanding new introduction with strikingly
colored flowers and new growth.
427sd1996 SEH#079:RSBG (0\R1\5). Grown from my
collection of seed at 9,500 ft. in S Sichuan, China. I
am really impressed with the foliage of this species
465sd1996 SEH#127:RSBG (0\R1\5). Grown from my collection of
seed at 9,500 ft. in S Sichuan, China. This seedlot has not
been offered before and referring to my field notes of
September 1995 "flat and distinctly separated calyx lobes vs.
cupular like other collections of this species". I am not sure
how relevant this distinction is but it was quite noticeable
and may be taxonomically significant. We just do not know very
much about this species.
449sd96 SEH#111:RSBG (+5'\R1\5). My own collection from 9,000
ft. in S Sichuan, China. I am really impressed with this
hunnewellianum ssp. hunnewellianum
Shrubs to 20 ft. Flowers (March-May) are white to pink with
spots. Narrow leaves covered below with a white indumentum. Found
on mountain slopes and in thickets at 6,500 to 10,000 ft. China
75/155 FR (0). Form with white flushed pink flowers.
84/150 HLL (0)
Shrubs to 10 ft. Flowers (flowering time varies) are white with
rose colored spots. 3-1/2" long tubular flowers are scented like
hyacinths. Native to tropical rain forest from 6,000 to 7,500 ft.
Papua New Guinea
83/064 PS (+32). Flowers white with rose spots.
Shrubs or small trees to 40 ft. Flowers (May) are fleshy rose-
pink with darker spots. Bark is smooth silvery gray-brown to
purplish-red. Found in open mixed forests at 8,000 to 12,000 ft.
77/743 KW 9322: WGP (+10)
Compact-growing evergreen shrubs with attractive recurved
leaves. Flowers (late spring) are white with reddish flecks
and quite stunning, even as they emerge from the bud. A
distinct cold and heat tolerant species which performs well
in open or woodland conditions. Native only to broad-leaved
forests in a small area of mountainous terrain from 3,000 to
4,000 ft. in N Taiwan.
69/884 NEL ((10\R1\4). Beautiful white flowers.
76/038 PAT:VAN ((10\R1\4). Rose buds open to white flowers
with magenta flecks on this clone collected wild in Taiwan.
Omitted, possibly hybrid of R. barbatum X arboreum. Shrubs to 15
ft. Flowers (March-April) are scarlet or scarlet crimson,
sometimes with darker spots and blotched nectar pouches. Included
for historical interest.
75/109 WGP (0).
Dwarf mounding and compact evergreen shrubs with small aromatic
leaves. These are dark glossy green on the upper surface and covered
with brown scales on the lower. The flowers (mid-spring) are violet
or purple to lavender. Most plants sold as this species are in fact
the closely related fastigiatum which has a glaucous blue-green upper
leaf surface. Members of Litangense Group (syn: R. litangense) are
much more upright in their growth habit. One of the more adaptable
and hardy of the 'alpine' species and an excellent choice for the rock
garden. Widespread and common in various sub-alpine and alpine habitats.
Found from 9,000 to 16,000 ft. in N Yunnan and SW Sichuan, China.
73/167 (lysolepis) FR-PHB (-20). Tiny glaucous leaves and
bright violet-purple flowers.
76/379 (litangense) WIND:UBC ((10). Dark green foliage and
77/617 (litangense). K&P (-20)
84/087 King & Paton ('10\R1\2). The real impeditum - with purple-
lavender flowers and dark green leaves.
84/088 (litangense) K&P (-10). Purple-lavender flowers.
Compact and densely branched shrubs with hairy evergreen foliage.
The broadly funnel-shaped flowers (early to mid-summer) are rose
to bright scarlet. This evergreen azalea is one of the parents of
the famous 'Satsuki' hybrid azaleas. A popular and floriferous
species which is quite heat tolerant. Native to the southern half
of Japan where it occurs in various habitats.
77/304 WEB (+20). Form with red-orange flowers, collected in
81/084 ('Chico Sugata') HLL (+20). Japanese cultivar.
542sd95 USNA#57029 (0?\R1\2-3). Grown from seed collected wild
at 1,650 ft. along the Oi River, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan.
(hybrid of R. wassonii)
Unknown in the wild, originally introduced in mixed seed of a
Wilson collection, from Sichuan, China. Has been described as a
compact shrub to 6 ft. Flowers (April-May) are white to cream
with or without a blotch. Included for historical interest.
74/WGP (0). Form with cream flowers.
Bushy shrubs, 5 to 12 ft. Flowers (May) are pale to deep pink
with a rose-colored median line along each lobe, sometimes with
crimson flecks. Thick, coriaceous leaves with tawny-gray to
copper-colored indumentum on the undersurface. Rare in the wild.
Found in woodlands from 7,500 to 10,000 ft. China
75/110 WGP (-5). A more rapidly developing form of the
species with pink striped flowers.
77/784 Brodick-UBC BG (-5).
79/097 Hobbie (-5)
80/120 HER (-5). Form with light pink flowers.
83/033 HC-CRA-TJ (-5). Form with pink flowers and large
Compact shrubs to 5 ft. Flowers (March-April) are pale lavender
to dark blue. Early and unusually shaped flowers make this a
distinct species. Very small dark green scaly leaves. Found in
open moist meadows and hillsides from 9,000 to 16,000 ft. China
73/144 FR-PHB (-10). A good foliage form with pale lavender
77/616 K&P (-10). Very small and early flowering, with gray-
green foliage and soft lavender-blue blossoms.
irroratum ssp. irroratum
Large erect-growing evergreen shrubs or small trees. An extremely
variable species with attractive bell-shaped flowers (early to mid-
spring) ranging in color from white or shades of yellow to pale
pink and violet-rose. The beautiful flowers have colored nectar
pouches and are usually spotted, often quite heavily. The foliage
is smooth and quite variable in size and shape. A common and widely
distributed species native to Yunnan, N Guizhou and S Sichuan, China
where it grows in various habitats from 7,000 to 12,000 ft.
64/222 'Spatter Paint' Rock:CS (+15). Flowers white flushed
pink with the inner corolla entirely covered with maroon
69/073 'Polka Dot' EXB: MVW (+10). An award form. White
suffused pink flowers with purple spotting. AM 1957.
84/018 ARD (+5). Form with white flowers.
216sd95 PW#96:RSBG (+5 to 0?\R1\8). Grown from seed collected
wild at 5,500 ft. in Guizhou Province, China.
Deciduous shrubs, 3 to 10 ft. Flowers (May) are orange-red to
scarlet, pink or yellow. A parent of many hybrids, used for vigor
and hardiness, Widely distributed in its native habitat on open
hillsides and seacliffs, in scrub woodland, bogs, and moorland up
to 3,000 ft. Japan.
77/035 MG (-15)
85/008 NA 47185 (-15)
85/011 NA 51322-USNA (-15). Nice red fall color.
Tropical shrubs to 8 ft. Long tubular flowers (flowering time
varies) are white and can be scented. Flowers are in trusses of 5
to 8, there is a pink form in cultivation which may be a hybrid.
Native to the Malay Peninsula from 3,800 to 5,000 ft.
78/102 H. Winters-FM (+32). With long tubular scented white
82/209 Boskoop Res. Sta. (+32)
javanicum (ssp. brookeanum)
Large tropical evergreen shrubs or small trees with attractive glossy-green leaves arranged in pseudowhorls. The large funnel-shaped flowers are orange to yellow or red. A widespread and variable species usually found growing epiphytically but occasionally terrestrial in various situations. Native from 1,000 to 8,500 ft. in peninsular Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia (Sulawesi, Sumatra, Java & Bali).
78/089 SA-FM (+32) Soft orange flowers with a salmon-colored
Mounding and typically wide-spreading evergreen shrubs with
bristly stems and fragrant young foliage. The elliptic leaves
have a bristly margin and are quite ornamental. Smooth and
peeling bark on the older stems. The large and showy funnel
bell-shaped flowers (mid- to late spring) are white to cream
or pale yellow, often with a deeper colored blotch or a
pinkish flush. A variable species with many forms in
cultivation, these often fragrant or with double flowers. One
of the hardiest members of this subsection. Native to NE India
where it occurs as an epiphyte in forests or terrestrially in
various open habitats from 6,000 to 10,000 ft.
77/693 'Double Diamond' Brodick (+10\R1\5). This is an amazing
clone with pale creamy yellow (almost white) double flowers.
The long-lasting flowers are like small roses with layer after
layer of petals. Blooms over a long period.
87/030 Childers-J. Sinclair (+20)
90/070 KW#12585:K&P (+25). We have not seen this clone flower yet.
99/518 Sinclair (+10\R1\5). This is an unnamed semi-double
form with creamy white flowers selected from the collection of
June Sinclair by Ken Cox.