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Shrub, 0.6-4.5 m. Leaves 5-17 x 2-4 cm, oblong to oblanceolate, apex apiculate, lower surface covered with a two-layered indumentum, the upper layer more or less continuous, pale brown and lanate or mid- to reddish brown and felted, or partially detersile, then rufous, the lower layer whitish and compacted; petioles usually with a persistent brown tomentum. Flowers 10-20, in a dense truss; calyx 0.5-1 mm; corolla white flushed rose, with crimson flecks, campanulate, nectar pouches lacking, 30-35 mm; ovary sparsely glandular and tomentose to almost glabrous, style glabrous. Flowering April-May. Royal Horticultural Society (1997)
Distribution China SE Tibet, NW Yunnan, Sichuan
Habitat 3,050-4,250 m
RHS Hardiness Rating H6
Conservation status Data deficient (DD)
R. globigerum Balf.f. & Forrest
Leaf indumentum usually pale ochraceous brown, lanate, with long fine ramiform hairs, continuous; ovary with a few papillae, otherwise glabrous. Royal Horticultural Society (1997)
R. iodes Balf.f. & Forrest
R. triplonaevium Balf.f. & Forrest
R. tritifolium Balf.f. & Forrest
Leaf indumentum mid-brown, felted, with short fine hairs, continuous; ovary with a sparse indumentum of rufous hairs and glands. Var. iodes is intermediate between and intergrades with the other two varieties. Royal Horticultural Society (1997)
AM 1978 (R.N.S. Clarke, Borde Hill, Sussex) to a clone 'White Plains'; flowers white, yellow-green at base externally, spotted red-purple within.
R. russotinctum Balf.f. & Forrest
Leaf indumentum with upper layer discontinuous, composed of rufous hairs; ovary with a sparse indumentum of rufous hairs and glands. Royal Horticultural Society (1997)
AM 1980 (R.N.S. Clarke, Borde Hill, Sussex) to a clone 'Easter Island', from Forrest 20425. Trusses compact, 10-12-flowered; corolla campanulate, white with dorsal red spotting.
This species closely resembles R. phaeochrysum but may be distinguished by its narrower leaves, etc. The leaves of some forms emit a characteristic musky odour. Royal Horticultural Society (1997)