Rhododendron oreodoxa Franch.

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Credits

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

Recommended citation
'Rhododendron oreodoxa' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/rhododendron/rhododendron-oreodoxa/). Accessed 2020-08-14.

Genus

Synonyms

  • Rhododendron haematocheilum Craib
  • Rhododendron limprichtii Diels
  • Rhododendron reginaldii Balf. f.

Infraspecifics

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.
bud
Immature shoot protected by scales that develops into leaves and/or flowers.
corolla
The inner whorl of the perianth. Composed of free or united petals often showy.
glabrous
Lacking hairs smooth. glabrescent Becoming hairless.
glandular
Bearing glands.
ovary
Lowest part of the carpel containing the ovules; later developing into the fruit.
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 oreodoxa' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/rhododendron/rhododendron-oreodoxa/). Accessed 2020-08-14.

Shrub or small tree, 1.3-5 m. Leaves 6-8.5 x 2.2-4 cm, obovate-elliptic to elliptic, base rounded, lower surface with persistent punctulate hair bases, otherwise glabrous. Flowers 6-8, in a lax truss; calyx 2-3 mm; corolla 5-7-lobed, pink, campanulate, nectar pouches lacking, 35-40 mm; stamens 10-14; ovary glabrous or with stalked glands, style glabrous. Flowering March-April. Royal Horticultural Society (1997)

Distribution  China NW Yunnan, Sichuan, S Gansu, W Hubei, Shaanxi

Habitat 2,650-4,100 m

RHS Hardiness Rating H5

Conservation status Least concern (LC)

An evergreen shrub with stout twigs up to 14 in. thick, sparsely set with glandular hairs when young, soon glabrous. Leaves oblong, rounded to heart-shaped at the base; rounded, with a short blunt tip at the apex; up to 312 in. long by 113 in. wide; glabrous and dark green above, paler beneath; veins in thirteen to fifteen pairs; stalk 13 to 23 in. long. Flowers eight to ten in a rounded truss 4 in. across. Calyx minute, usually glandular. Corolla broadly funnel-shaped, seven-lobed, 2 in. wide, the tube scarcely 1 in. long. In the bud state the flower is almost blood-red, changing when open to carmine, then to a lilac shade. Stamens fourteen, about as long as the corolla-tube, white and glabrous; anthers purplish brown. Ovary and style glabrous, the latter longer than the stamens. Bot. Mag., t. 8518. (s. Fortunei ss. Oreodoxa)

Native of W. Szechwan and Kansu; discovered by Père David near Mupin in 1869; introduced in 1904 by Wilson for Messrs Veitch, who appear to have distributed it at first as “R. davidii”, a name properly belonging to a different species. It first flowered in their Coombe Wood nursery in 1913. Lionel de Rothschild wrote of this rhododendron: ‘It is one of the first species to open its flowers, which it often does at the end of February or early March, and therefore only fitted for a sheltered garden and a sheltered situation, but the flowers in bud are more frost-resisting than any other rhododendron I know; the flowers open from the bud and show individual bells tightly folded and bright red, and in this shape it will often stand several degrees of frost without being injured, taking advantage of the first few days of mild weather to show its beauty.’ Farrer, who reintroduced R. oreodoxa from Kansu, described it as ‘a tidy, tall, steep-domed bush’ or ‘a no less tidy, well-furnished tree of some fourteen feet with a comely rounded head’. This is also the habit of the cultivated plants from the Wilson introduction.

R. oreodoxa received an Award of Merit when shown from Exbury on April 6, 1937.

From the Supplement (Vol. V)

var. fargesii (Franch.) Chamberlain R. fargesii Franch.; R. erubescens Hutch. – See R. fargesii, page 657. The glandular ovary is the only reliable character separating this from var. oreodoxa.


var. fargesii (Franch.) D.F.Chamb.

Synonyms
R. erubescens Hutch.
R. fargesii Franch.

Ovary stalked-glandular; corolla (5)6-7-lobed; pedicels glandular. Royal Horticultural Society (1997)

Distribution

  • China – NW Yunnan, Sichuan, Gansu, Hubei

Awards
AM 1926 (G.W.E. Loder, Wakehurst Place, Sussex) as R. fargesii; flowers rose pink, with crimson spots. AM 1969 (Lord Aberconway and National Trust, Bodnant) to a clone 'Budget Farthing', as R. fargesii ; flowers white, suffused Red-Purple. AGM 1993

RHS Hardiness Rating: H5


var. oreodoxa

Ovary glabrous; corolla 6-7-lobed; pedicels glandular.

Awards AM 1937 (L. de Rothschild, Exbury); flowers pale rose, with darker stripes.


var. shensiense D.F.Chamb.

Ovary stalked-glandular; pedicels sparsely rufous-tomentose; corolla 5-lobed.

Distribution China (Shaanxi).

Plants now referred to var. shensiense have in the past been grown as R. purdomii Rehder & E.H.Wilson, the type specimen of which is too poorly preserved to be sure that it is the same as the former. The affinities of var. shensiense are unclear but it seems that the plants in cultivation have a close affinity with R. oreodoxa.

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