Rhododendron balfourianum Diels

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Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles

Recommended citation
'Rhododendron balfourianum' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/rhododendron/rhododendron-balfourianum/). Accessed 2020-10-26.

Genus

Infraspecifics

Other species in genus

Glossary

calyx
(pl. calyces) Outer whorl of the perianth. Composed of several sepals.
corolla
The inner whorl of the perianth. Composed of free or united petals often showy.
corolla
The inner whorl of the perianth. Composed of free or united petals often showy.
glandular
Bearing glands.
indumentum
A covering of hairs or scales.
midrib
midveinCentral and principal vein in a leaf.
ovary
Lowest part of the carpel containing the ovules; later developing into the fruit.
ovate
Egg-shaped; broadest towards the stem.
style
Generally an elongated structure arising from the ovary bearing the stigma at its tip.

References

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Credits

Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles

Recommended citation
'Rhododendron balfourianum' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/rhododendron/rhododendron-balfourianum/). Accessed 2020-10-26.

Shrub, 1-4.5 m. Leaves 4.5-12 x 2-4 cm, ovate-lanceolate to elliptic, apex acute to acuminate, lower surface with a dense compacted to spongy one-layered lanate tomentum composed of ramiform hairs that are silvery white at first, sometimes turning pale pinkish cinnamon at maturity, usually shining and with a surface film; petioles glabrescent. Flowers 6-12, in a dense truss; calyx 6-10 mm, lobes elliptic; corolla pale to deep pink, with purple flecks, campanulate, nectar pouches lacking, 35-40 mm; ovary glandular; style glandular in the lower third. Flowering April-May. Royal Horticultural Society (1997)

Distribution  China W Yunnan, SW Sichuan

Habitat 3,350-4,550 m

RHS Hardiness Rating H6

Conservation status Vulnerable (VU)

Taxonomic note R. balfourianum is allied to R. adenogynum but may be distinguished by the leaf indumentum that is generally paler. Royal Horticultural Society (1997)

An evergreen shrub up to 8 ft high in the wild; young shoots and midrib at first scurfy. Leaves oblong or narrowly ovate, sharply pointed, rounded at the base, 212 to 412 in. long, 34 to 112 in. wide, dark dullish green above, silvery grey with scurfy down beneath; stalk 12 to 34 in. long. Flowers in trusses of six to nine. Calyx deeply lobed, the five lobes ovate, blunt, 14 in. long, and, like the flower-stalks (which are about 1 in. long), very glandular. Corolla bell-shaped, 134 in. deep, rather more wide, five-lobed, pale rose with crimson spottings. Stamens downy at the base, shorter than the corolla; ovary and lower part of style densely glandular. (s. Taliense ss. Adenogynum)

Native of W. Yunnan, where it was found by Forrest on the Tali Range in 1906. It is perfectly hardy at Kew. Closely related to R. adenogynum, it is still very distinct in the pale metallic-looking under surface of the leaf.

From the Supplement (Vol. V)

The var. aganniphoides is not recognised in the Edinburgh revision, there being no clear dividing line between it and the typical state.


var. aganniphoides Tagg & Forr

Leaf indumentum spongy, thick. Royal Horticultural Society (1997)

Leaves longer, more lanceolate, up to 4{3/4} in. long, 1{3/4} in. wide, with a thicker indumentum. Style not glandular. Found by Forrest in the Muli region of S.W. Szechwan, and introduced by him. The truss figured in Bot. Mag., n.s., t. 531, is from a plant raised from Kingdon Ward’s seed-number 4177, collected in the same region and originally distributed as R. clementinae, a quite different species. He greatly admired the wild plants and refers to them under this erroneous name in Romance of Plant Hunting, p. 159.


var. balfourianum

Leaf indumentum compacted.

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