Rhododendron fragariiflorum Kingdon-Ward

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

Recommended citation
'Rhododendron fragariiflorum' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/rhododendron/rhododendron-fragariiflorum/). Accessed 2020-10-29.


Other species in genus


(pl. calyces) Outer whorl of the perianth. Composed of several sepals.
The inner whorl of the perianth. Composed of free or united petals often showy.
Flower-bearing part of a plant; arrangement of flowers on the floral axis.
Lowest part of the carpel containing the ovules; later developing into the fruit.
Traditional English name for the formerly independent state known to its people as Bod now the Tibet (Xizang) Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China. The name Xizang is used in lists of Chinese provinces.
(pl. apices) Tip. apical At the apex.
Protruding; pushed out.
Lacking hairs smooth. glabrescent Becoming hairless.
(sect.) Subdivision of a genus.
Generally an elongated structure arising from the ovary bearing the stigma at its tip.


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

Recommended citation
'Rhododendron fragariiflorum' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/rhododendron/rhododendron-fragariiflorum/). Accessed 2020-10-29.

Dwarf shrub, to 40 cm; young shoots scaly and puberulent. Leaves 1-1.7 x 0.5-1 cm, oblong-elliptic, rounded at base and apex, margin bluntly toothed, ciliate, lower surface with distant golden vesicular scales. Flowers 2-3, in a loose terminal inflorescence; calyx lobes 5-7 mm, reddish, apex rounded; corolla red to purple, open-campanulate, 13-18 mm; ovary scaly, style declinate, glabrous. Royal Horticultural Society (1997)

Distribution  BhutanChina SE Tibet

Habitat 3,650-4,500 m

RHS Hardiness Rating H6

Conservation status Least concern (LC)

Taxonomic note This species may be distantly related to R. setosum but is sufficiently distinctive to be placed in its own subsection. Royal Horticultural Society (1997)

A dwarf tufted shrub up to 8 or 9 in. high; branchlets scaly and downy. Leaves aromatic, obovate to elliptic, up to 12 in. long, half as wide, rounded at the apex, dark olive-green and glossy above, scaly on both sides, the scales on the undersurface widely spaced, dark brown or yellow; margins bristly. Inflorescence a terminal cluster of two to six flowers on pedicels about 14 in. long. Calyx five-lobed to the base, about 16 in. deep. Corolla between funnel-shaped and rotate, coloured ‘crushed strawberry’, five-lobed, between 12 and 34 in. long, glabrous outside. Stamens ten, exserted. Ovary densely scaly; style longer than the stamens, glabrous.

R. fragariiflorum was discovered by Kingdon Ward in 1924 on the Temo La and Nyima La, Tibet, in the mountains immediately to the north of the Tsangpo bend, at 14,000 to 15,000 ft, growing gregariously with other dwarf rhododendrons; it was subsequently found in the main Himalayan chain, where it extends almost as far west as the Bhutan frontier. It is at present placed in the Saluenense series, but, as Kingdon Ward remarked when describing the species, it is really intermediate between this group and the Lapponicum series. Although later reintroduced by Ludlow and Sherriff it seems to be rare in gardens. The specific epithet refers to the colour of the flowers.

From the Supplement (Vol. V)

This is now placed in the monotypic section Fragariiflora.


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