Rhododendron parmulatum Cowan

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An evergreen shrub up to 3 or 4 ft high; young shoots glabrous; bark flaking, purplish brown. Leaves oval, rounded at the apex to a short mucro, almost similarly rounded at the base to the stalk, 112 to 214 in. long, about half as wide, glabrous above, loosely papillose beneath (not downy), stalk 15 to 25 in. long. Flowers in trusses of about six, on glabrous stalks 12 to 34 in. long. Calyx a flat, circular disk 12 in. or so wide. Corolla widely campanulate, 134 in. deep, 214 in. wide across the five bilobed, reflexed lobes which are 1 in. wide, white flushed pink, veined with crimson and with deeper-coloured pouches at the base. Stamens ten, shorter than the tube, anthers dark brown. Ovary glabrous; style glabrous. Bot. Mag., t. 9624.

R. parmuiatum was discovered by Kingdon Ward in 1924 on the Doshong La, S.E. Tibet, at the eastern end of the Himalaya, and was introduced by him (KW 5875). Most of the cultivated plants are from this sending, perhaps all, but it was found again by Ludlow, Sherriff, and Elliot in 1946-7 (L.S. & E. 13612). It first flowered at Edinburgh and at Borde Hill in Sussex, in April 1936.

R. parmuiatum is an interesting and very distinct species, at present placed in the subseries Sanguineum of the Neriiflorum series, though it is unique in that group in the colour and markings of its flowers. It is hardy in a sheltered place near London.



Other species in the genus