Rhododendron semibarbatum Maxim.

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A deciduous shrub 2 to 8 ft high with downy and hairy, glandular young shoots. Leaves oval to ovate, very variable in size from 34 to 2 in. long, 38 to 1 in. wide, bluntish at the apex, rounded or nearly so at the base, minutely toothed on the margins and slightly bristly on the midrib and veins beneath; stalk up to 38 in long, downy and bristly. Flowers solitary, produced from lateral buds near the ends of the branchlets (the terminal bud is a growth-bud); pedicels 18 in. or slightly more long, glandular and bristly, like the short calyx. Corolla rotate with a short tube and five rounded, spreading lobes, white or yellowish white, freely dotted with red at the base, about 34 in. across. Stamens five, very unequal, the three lower ones glabrous or nearly so, the other two much shorter and nearly covered with brisdes. Ovary globose, bristly in the upper part; style glabrous. Bot. Mag., t. 9147. (s. Semibarbatum)

Native of central and southern Japan; described by Maximowicz from a specimen collected by Tschonoski; it was introduced by him to St Petersburg, but did not reach Britain until Wilson sent seeds in 1914, which were distributed by the Arnold Arboretum. As a garden plant it has little to recommend it, but it is of considerable botanical interest as a member of the Azaleastrum group (see p. 588).



Other species in the genus