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An evergreen shrub 4 to 12 ft high, or occasionally a small tree up to 25 ft high; branchlets clad with a brown to fawn-coloured or whitish tomentum. Leaves mostly oblong-elliptic or oblong-lanceolate, 2 to 31⁄2 in. long, 11⁄2 to 2 in. wide, acute to acuminate at the apex, loosely tomentose above at first, becoming more or less glabrous, underside coated with a thin brown suede-like indumentum made up of long-rayed hairs; petiole about 1⁄2 in. long. Flowers up to about sixteen in an umbellate cluster, opening in April or May. Calyx minute. Corolla between funnel-shaped and campanulate, about 13⁄4 in. wide, white to pink or creamy white, spotted or unmarked. Ovary narrow-cylindric, usually glabrous or nearly so; style glabrous or slightly downy at the base. (s. Lacteum)
R. dryophyllum occurs, often at high altitudes, from S.W. Szechwan (Muli area) across N.W. Yunnan to the Tibetan Himalaya, where it has been collected not far from the eastern frontier of Bhutan; it has also been found in the Seinghku valley, N.W. upper Burma. It was introduced by Forrest.
See R. phaeochrysum in this supplement.