Rhododendron mollicomum Balf. f. & W. W. Sm.

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

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

Genus

Other species in genus

Glossary

calyx
(pl. calyces) Outer whorl of the perianth. Composed of several sepals.
corolla
The inner whorl of the perianth. Composed of free or united petals often showy.
ovary
Lowest part of the carpel containing the ovules; later developing into the fruit.
apex
(pl. apices) Tip. apical At the apex.
calyx
(pl. calyces) Outer whorl of the perianth. Composed of several sepals.
corolla
The inner whorl of the perianth. Composed of free or united petals often showy.
midrib
midveinCentral and principal vein in a leaf.
style
Generally an elongated structure arising from the ovary bearing the stigma at its tip.

References

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Credits

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

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

Small shrub, 0.5-2 m; young shoots scaly, pubescent, with or without setae. Leaves 1.2-3.5 x 0.3-1.5 cm, lanceolate or rarely oblong, upper surface covered with filiform hairs, usually without setae; lower surface green, not shining, lamina densely pubescent, the setae restricted to midrib, the scales their own diameter apart. Flowers 1-3, in an axillary inflorescence; calyx rim-like, ciliate; corolla pale to deep pink, narrowly funnel-shaped, 19-30 mm; outer surface glabrous and lacking scales; stamens 10; ovary scaly and sparsely pilose, style impressed, often slightly pilose at base. Flowering April-May. Royal Horticultural Society (1997)

Distribution  China N Yunnan, SW Sichuan

Habitat 2800-3800 m

RHS Hardiness Rating H5

Awards AM 1931 (Lady Aberconway and Hon. H.D. McLaren, Bodnant); flowers bright rose.

Conservation status Near threatened (NT)

Taxonomic note This species is closely allied to R. hemitrichotum (q.v.). Royal Horticultural Society (1997)

An evergreen shrub up to 6 ft high; young shoots very downy. Leaves of stout leathery texture, narrowly oval or oblong, tapered at the base, rather blunt at the apex, 34 to 2 in. long, 316 to 12 in. wide, dull green above, downy on both surfaces, especially on the midrib beneath and on the strongly decurved margins; somewhat scaly beneath; stalk 18 in. or less long. Flowers opening in April and May usually in pairs from the terminal leaf-axils, each flower on a downy stalk about 14 in. long, the whole forming a truss 2 or 3 in. wide. Calyx very small, scarcely lobed, very downy. Corolla pale pink to rosy red, 34 in. long, 1 in. wide, slenderly funnel-shaped at the base, dividing at the top into five oblong lobes; slightly scaly outside, slightly downy inside the tube. Stamens ten, well protruded, their slender stalks downy on the lower half. Ovary scaly and downy; style downy at the base, slender, 1 in. or so long, standing along with the stamens half an inch beyond the corolla. (s. Scabrifolium)

Native of Yunnan and S.W. Szechwan, China, up to altitudes of 11,000 ft; discovered and introduced by Forrest in 1913; first flowered at Caerhays in 1917. Notable characteristics are the soft down which covers shoots, leaves, flower-stalks, and calyx, the protruded stamens and style, and the mixture of scales and down beneath the leaf. It is a pretty rhododendron, evidently hardier than is generally supposed, as it has lived and flowered annually in the open air at Kew since 1923. At the same time it is better suited with milder conditions. It received an Award of Merit when shown from Bodnant April 8, 1931.

R. mollicomum is akin to R. scabrifolium and R. spiciferum, but has narrower flowers and lacks the bristly hairs seen in those two species.

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