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Small shrub, usually to 0.6 m; leaf bud scales persistent but not conspicuous. Leaves 1.1-1.7 x 0.6-0.9 cm, oblong to ovate or almost orbicular, apex rounded, slightly mucronate; lower surface covered with 2-3 tiers of overlapping chocolate-brown scales, the lowest tier as dark as or darker than the upper tiers. Flowers many, in a dense racemose umbel; calyx lobes 5-6 mm; corolla white or pink, rarely yellowish, hypocrateriform, tube 4.5-11.5 mm, outer surface pilose, inner surface densely pilose at mouth, lobes 3.5-6 mm; stamens 5-6; ovary scaly, sometimes also sparsely puberulent. Flowering April-May. Royal Horticultural Society (1997)
Distribution China SE Tibet
Habitat 2,900-4,700 m
RHS Hardiness Rating H6
Conservation status Vulnerable (VU)
Leaves 2 or more times as long as broad; corolla usually pink, tube densely pilose outside.
Leaves less than 2× as long as broad; corolla usually white, tube laxly pilose outside.
The two varieties intergrade; it is therefore not always possible to assign individual plants to a variety.