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Small shrub, to 2m; young shoots densely scaly. Leaves semi-persistent or persistent, thick, 0.6-2.5(-3) x 0.3-1.2(-1.6)cm, narrowly elliptic to obovate, margin not ciliate, lower surface with distant to overlapping large brownish scales with translucent rims. Flowers 1-2, in a loose terminal inflorescence; calyx lobes 2-4mm; flowers white, yellow or pink to purple, often with darker spots, campanulate, 10-17mm; stamens 10; ovary scaly, style very short, deflexed.
Distribution N India (Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh), Nepal, Bhutan, N Burma, China (S Tibet, NW Yunnan).
RHS Hardiness H3-4b.
A widespread and variable species, especially in respect to flower colour and leaf shape.