Within the Rhododendron trichocladum article...


R melinanthum Balf. f. & Ward

This was described from a specimen collected by Kingdon Ward in 1913 in one of the high valleys of the Ka-kar-po range, Mekong-Salween divide, and was introduced by him in the same year (KW 406). He also collected seed of what is supposed to be R. melinanthum in November 1922 on the Taru Tra, N.E. Burma, during his journey across the upper feeders of the Irrawaddy (KW 5849). R. melinanthum differs from R. trichocladum mainly in the smaller calyx not fringed with hairs, and the longer style (Bot. Mag., t. 8903). It is usually said that R. melinanthum is the best of this group because of its deep-yellow flowers, but a plant has been noted of a particularly pleasing colour which does not agree at all with R. melinanthum, though grown under that name. It is quite near to R. trichocladum.The others must be dealt with more shortly. R. chloranthum Balf. f. & Forr. resembles R. melinanthum in having a small unfringed calyx, but according to the original description the style is shorter and the leaves less scaly beneath. R. mekongense Franch. is but a less hairy version of R. trichocladum. It was included in it by Bayley Balfour but later resurrected. R. oulotrichum Balf. f. & Forr. scarcely differs from R. trichocladum; it is in cultivation from seed collected by Farrer and Cox in 1919 on the Burma-Yunnan frontier. R. rubrolineatum Balf. f. & Forr. takes its name from one of the specimens included in it, whose flowers were described by Forrest as creamy yellow lined and flushed with rose on the outside; this came from the Tali range. But another specimen, from farther north, is credited with canary-yellow flowers. The specimens differ from R. trichocladum in being very much less hairy, and in having the calyx-lobes much reduced. Red pigmentation in the flowers is also to be seen in some forms of R. trichocladum.For two more distinct species of the Trichocladum series, see R. lepidostylum and R. viridescens.

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