Rhododendron championiae Hook.

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An evergreen shrub probably some 6 or 8 ft high; young shoots clothed with stiff outstanding hairs, some of which are gland-tipped. Leaves elliptic-lanceolate, pointed, mostly wedge-shaped at the base, 3 to 5 in. long, 1 to 134 in. wide; dark green, sprinkled on both surfaces with pale bristles that are especially abundant on the midrib beneath and on the margins; stalk 12 to 34 in. long, very bristly. Flowers as many as six in a terminal cluster, usually fewer, opening in May. Corolla pink, 312 in. wide, the base narrowly tubular and 34 in. long, separating into five oblong, bluntish lobes 112 to 2 in. long. Stamens ten, 2 in. long, downy at the lower half. Calyx-lobes five, linear, very unequal, 18 to 12 in. long, very bristly on the margins; flower-stalk very bristly, 34 to 1 in. long. Bot. Mag., t. 4609. (s. Stamineum)

Native of Hong Kong on Mt Victoria, where it is rare; found also in the province of Fukien, China, by Dunn in 1905. It was discovered in 1849 by Lt-Col. Champion, after whose wife it was named by the elder Hooker. Although no longer there it was introduced to Kew in 1881 and flowered in the Temperate House in 1894, but was a shy bloomer. It is a quite tender shrub and I have only seen it in the open air at Caerhays.



Other species in the genus