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Small shrub, to 0.5m; young shoots densely scaly, sometimes with a few hairs. Leaves 1.4-2.3 x 0.5-0.8cm, narrowly obovate, apex obtuse; margin not ciliate, obscurely crenulate, upper surface dark green, shining, lower surface scaly but not densely so. Flowers many, in a dense inflorescence; rhachis 10-20mm; pedicels scaly and pubescent; calyx lobes to 2mm, narrowly triangular, usually fringed with scales and a few hairs; corolla pink, tubular-campanulate, 15-17mm, outer surface sparsely scaly, densely pubescent; stamens 10; style shorter than to as long as the ovary.
Distribution Mountains of E Europe (Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Romania, W Russia).
RHS Hardiness H4a-b.
This species is closely allied to R. ferrugineum, replacing it in the East. It differs in its hairy pedicels, paler flowers and shorter style.