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Shrub or small tree up to 8 m high, terrestrial, young stems sparsely covered in substellate scales. Leaves 2-9 x 1-1.5 cm, elliptic, broadly elliptic or occasionally obovate, the apex broadly acute to obtuse or rounded, the margin flat or slightly revolute, the base broadly tapering to rounded; upper surface sparsely scaly at first, quickly glabrescent, the midrib impressed above, lateral veins 4-8 pairs slightly impressed; below the midrib prominently raised, the laterals slightly raised, the scales well spaced, rather small, irregularly lobed to substellate, with small dark centres. Flowers 3-12 per umbel, horizontal to hanging vertically; calyx a lobed, scaly disc; corolla bright red or purplish, more rarely pink, 2.5-6 x 1.6-4 cm, laxly to subdensely scaly outside; stamens 10, clustered on the upper side of the flower; ovary covered with yellowish hairs and obscurely scaly, style hairy and scaly in the lower third, glabrous above. Royal Horticultural Society (1997)
Distribution Papua New Guinea New Guinea (from east to west), one record from the island of New Ireland
Habitat 900-4,000 m
RHS Hardiness Rating H2
Conservation status Least concern (LC)
One of the most widespread of the New Guinea rhododendrons and very variable as a consequence. Royal Horticultural Society (1997)