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Shrub, 0.3-5m; young shoots scaly, deep crimson. Leaves 2.2-4.2(-5.2) x 1.2-2.3 (2.7)cm, broadly to narrowly elliptic, apex acute, upper surface usually persistently scaly and with midrib puberulent, lower surface covered with unequal brown narrowly rimmed scales that are 1-2× their own diameter apart. Flowers 3-6, in a loose terminal inflorescence; calyx disclike, usually ciliate; corolla whitish to rose-pink or lavender, with or without red flecks, zygomorphic, widely funnel-shaped, 16-21mm, outer surface lacking scales; stamens 10; ovary scaly, impressed below the decimate style that is glabrous or puberulous at base.
Distribution China (N Yunnan, W Sichuan, Guizhou).
RHS Hardiness H3-4a.
Taxonomic note (incl. R. hypophaeum Balf.f. & Forrest)
This species resembles both R. siderophyllum (q.v.) and R. davidsonianum. It differs from the former in its broader leaves and smaller corolla, and from the latter in its narrowly rimmed leaf scales.