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Tree or shrub mostly 1-2 m, but recorded up to 4 m, terrestrial or epiphytic, young branches at first densely covered with a rusty coloured, stellate-dendroid tomentum. Leaves 3-6 x 1-3.5 cm, variable in shape from broadly elliptic to ovate, obovate to sub-orbicular, apex narrowly to broadly obtuse or rounded, the margin usually strongly revolute, the base broadly tapering to rounded; upper surface at first densely red-brown, stellate-scaly, becoming silvery scaly and rather tardily glabrescent, midrib slightly impressed above, lateral veins 4-7 pairs, slightly impressed; below, the midrib strongly prominent, the laterals slightly to strongly prominent, scales dendroid, deeply stellate incised, dense and overlapping, growing from pronounced, persistent, epidermal tubercles, the scales themselves disappearing easily with any abrasion and often then only found in protected corners. Flowers 2-6 per umbel, half-hanging to hanging; calyx a low stellate-scaly ring; corolla, white, yellow, greenish, pink, purplish pink but most commonly dark red, tubular funnel-shaped, curved, zygomorphic, 3-4.5 x 2-2.5 cm, densely stellate-scaly outside; stamens 10, clustered in the upper mouth of the flower; ovary densely brown-stellate-scaly, style stellate-scaly throughout its length. Royal Horticultural Society (1997)
Distribution Papua New Guinea East to West, mostly on the main range
Habitat 1500-4000 m
RHS Hardiness Rating H2
Conservation status Least concern (LC)
A very common and wide ranging species in the wild in both area and altitude. It is very closely related to R. phaeochitum but differs in its glabrous disc and glabrous or only sparsely hairy filaments. The lower altitude forms tend to be the easiest to cultivate. Royal Horticultural Society (1997)