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Shrub or tree to 3 m, epiphytic or terrestrial; young twigs usually dark red and finely scaly. Leaves 4-9 x 2.5-4.5 cm, elliptic to broadly elliptic or obovate, the apex acute, acuminate, sometimes mucronate, the margin entire, flat or weakly revolute, the base broadly tapering to rounded; the upper surface at first minutely brown-scaly, quickly glabrescent, midrib impressed throughout its length, lateral veins 4-10 pairs, fine, minutely impressed; lower surface with the midrib strongly raised at the base, less so above, lateral veins smooth, distinct to obscure, scales well spaced, lobed to rounded and very slightly impressed. Flowers 2-7 per umbel, half-hanging to hanging; calyx an undulate, scaly, disc; corolla mostly deep red, sometimes pink, campanulate to funnel-shaped with a straight tube, 4-5.5 x 4-6 cm, minutely scaly outside; stamens 10, disposed all round the mouth of the flower; ovary both hairy and scaly, style hairy and scaly in the basal 2/3, glabrous above. Royal Horticultural Society (1997)
Distribution Australia N Queensland, Mt Finnigan, Thornton Peak, Mt Windsor Tableland and main Coast Range
Habitat 900-1,330 m
RHS Hardiness Rating H2
Awards AM 1957 (Crown Estate Commissioners, Windsor); flowers Geranium Lake (HCC 20).
Conservation status Vulnerable (VU)
Taxonomic note Name conserved. Orthographic error: R. lochiae. Royal Horticultural Society (1997)
This attractive and floriferous species has been in cultivation at least since 1939 and is the parent of many hybrids. It was for these reasons that the name has recently been conserved and the original plant described under this name is now R. notiale (see L.A. Craven & R.M. Withers: A second species of Rhododendron (Ericaceae) from Australia, Edinb. J. Bot. 53(1): 27-37, 1996). Royal Horticultural Society (1997)