Within the Rhododendron macrosepalum article...


An abnormal garden clone with narrowly linear leaves 2 to 3 in. long, usually {1/8} to {3/16} in. wide, at the middle, tapering gradually to each end. Flowers in a terminal cluster of about three. Corolla with long, narrow lobes of about the same shape as the leaves and up to 1{1/2} in. long, bright rosy lilac, hairy at the base. (R. linearifolium Sieb. & Zucc. (1846), nom. illegit., not Poir. (1808); Azalea linearifolia (Sieb. & Zucc.) Hook., Bot. Mag., t. 5769.)This unusual and decorative azalea is evidently a sport from R. macrosepalum, and is very distinct in its long, narrow leaves and corolla-lobes. It was introduced from Japan by Standish and first flowered in his nursery at Ascot in 1867. It is hardy at Kew and worth growing for its remarkable aspect.It has been usual to treat ‘Linearifolium’ as the nomenclatural type of the species, and to place the normal, wild form under it as a variety – R. linearifolium var. macrosepalum. As it happens, the name R. linearifolium Sieb. & Zucc., given to this garden variety, is illegitimate, and it is therefore correct to adopt the arrangement that accords with common sense, and put the garden variety under the name of the wild species.


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