Rhododendron rufum Batal.


R. weldianum Rehd. & Wils.

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A shrub to about 20 ft high. Leaves elliptic or broadest slightly above the middle, obtuse and apiculate at the apex, rounded to cuneate at the base, up to 412 in. long and 2 in. wide, indumentum of lower surface two-layered, the upper layer a tomentum of branched hairs which are at first white, later brown, concealing a lower layer of compacted white hairs. Inflorescence of six to twelve flowers; pedicels densely tomentose. Calyx almost nil. Corolla widely funnel-campanulate, about 114 in. long, white to pink, spotted with crimson. Ovary densely tomentose and slightly glandular. Style glabrous or almost so.

Native of Kansu and Szechwan; described from a specimen collected by Potanin in southern Kansu in 1885. It was introduced by Wilson (as R. weldianum) from western Szechwan in 1910, but probably most of the plants in cultivation are from seeds collected by Dr J. Rock in Kansu and grown as R. rufum.

Some forms of this species are as ornamental in foliage as R. bureaui, others quite worthless. It is very hardy.



Other species in the genus