Rhododendron chryseum Balf. f. & Ward

TSO logo

Sponsor

Kindly sponsored by Peter Norris, enabling the use of The Rhododendron Handbook 1998

Credits

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

Recommended citation
'Rhododendron chryseum' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/rhododendron/rhododendron-chryseum/). Accessed 2020-07-11.

Genus

Synonyms

  • R. muliense Balf. f. & Forr.

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.
glabrous
Lacking hairs smooth. glabrescent Becoming hairless.
glaucous
Grey-blue often from superficial layer of wax (bloom).
included
(botanical) Contained within another part or organ.
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.
variety
(var.) Taxonomic rank (varietas) grouping variants of a species with relatively minor differentiation in a few characters but occurring as recognisable populations. Often loosely used for rare minor variants more usefully ranked as forms.

References

There are currently no active references in this article.

Credits

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

Recommended citation
'Rhododendron chryseum' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/rhododendron/rhododendron-chryseum/). Accessed 2020-07-11.

A dwarf, evergreen, much-branched shrub 1 to 212 ft high; young shoots densely covered with a rather loose scurf of reddish scales, which become darker and fewer the second year, the bark of the branchlets becoming finally grey and peeling. Leaves stout, aromatic, oval, or inclined to obovate, mostly bluntish at both ends, 12 to 34 in. long, 316 to 516 in. wide, dark green, covered with shining scales above, paler and rather glaucous beneath with the scales less dense; stalk 112 in. long, scaly. Flowers deep sulphur yellow to pale yellow, four to six in a terminal cluster, opening in May. Corolla 34 to 1 in. wide, with a funnel-shaped base and five ovate lobes 38 in. long, slightly scaly outside, covered with white down in the tube. Stamens five to ten, 12 in. long, each with a tuft of white down at the base; ovary very scaly; style glabrous or slightly downy at the base. Calyx very scaly, five-lobed, the lobes oblong, 16 in. or less long. Bot. Mag., t. 9246. (s. Lapponicum)

R. chryseum is a species of alpine and subalpine scrub at 12,000 to 14,000 ft, from S.W. Szechwan through N.W. Yunnan to upper Burma. It was discovered by Kingdon Ward in 19.13 below one of the glaciers of Ka-kar-po, on the Mekong-Salween divide; introduced by Forrest five years later from the Beima-shan, a short way to the east of the type-locality, on the Mekong-Yangtse divide. The type of R. muliense, now included in R. chryseum, was collected in the Muli region of S.W. Szechwan.

In the original description the corolla of R. chryseum is described as golden, but in the plants from the first introduction, and from some later ones, they are too pale to deserve that term. It is very hardy and suitable for the rock garden but in many gardens it is not at all free-flowering and cannot be relied on as a foil for the purple- or lavender-flowered species of the Lapponicum series, and in any case blooms later than most of these.

In their revision of the Lapponicum group, M. N. and W. R. Philipson reduce R. chryseum to the status of a variety of the purple-flowered R. rupicola (q.v.), and give the same rank independently to R. muliense (here treated as synonymous with R. chryseum). Now that they have pointed it out, it becomes obvious that except in flower-colour there is really no difference between the two species. It is interesting that Kingdon Ward found R. chryseum growing in the upper Adung valley, Burma, in the company of purple-flowered plants that were in other respects indistinguishable from it (Gard. Chron., Vol. 93 (1933), pp. 170-1).

From the Supplement (Vol. V)

See R. rupicola, in this supplement.


Feedback

A site produced by the International Dendrology Society.

For copyright and licence information, see the Licence page.

To contact the editors: info@treesandshrubsonline.org.