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Shrub or small tree; young shoots soon becoming glabrous. Leaves in whorls of up to three, at the ends of the branches, 3.5-8 x 1.5-6 cm, broadly rhombic, apex acute, lower surface with scattered brown hairs, especially on the midrib; petioles covered with brown pilose hairs at first, soon glabrescent. Pedicels densely covered with brown pilose hairs. Flowers 2-4 per inflorescence, appearing before or with the leaves; calyx minute; corolla pink to brick-red, with darker flecks on upper lobes, open-funnel-campanulate, 30-40 mm; stamens 10; ovary densely pilose, style glabrous or pilose below, sometimes also papillate. Flowering April-May. Royal Horticultural Society (1997)
Distribution Japan Kyushu, Shikoku, SE Honshu North Korea South Korea
Habitat 20-1,200 m
RHS Hardiness Rating H4
Conservation status Least concern (LC)
Taxonomic note R. weyrichii may be distinguished from the allied R. sanctum and R. amagianum by the larger flowers, to 40mm long, and the more numerous flowers per inflorescence. Royal Horticultural Society (1997)
A deciduous azalea, described as often tree-like in habit in the wild, 3 to 15 ft high (Wilson); young shoots clothed with forward-pointing hairs, becoming brown and nearly glabrous the second year. Leaves obovate, ovate, or diamond-shaped, usually acutely pointed; distributed along vigorous shoots but often produced in a whorl at the end of shorter twigs, 11⁄2 to 31⁄2 in. long, 1 to 21⁄4 in. wide, pale green and soon glabrous above, greyer green and rather conspicuously veined beneath; stalk 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 in. long, downy only when young. Flowers produced two to four together in a terminal cluster. Calyx very small, hairy. Corolla about 2 in. wide, of a rather dull rich red, funnel-shaped at the base, with five spreading lobes. Stamens six to ten, usually glabrous. Ovary densely clothed with erect, pale, reddish hairs; style usually glabrous. Bot. Mag., t. 9475. (s. Azalea ss. Schlippenbachii)
Native of S. Japan, in Kyushu, Shikoku, and the Kinki district of the main island; also of the Korean island of Quelpaert; introduced by Wilson in 1914 to the Arnold Arboretum. Plants raised from seed obtained from that institution in 1915 flowered in May 1921 at Kew, where the species has proved fairly hardy in a sheltered place. It is most nearly akin to R. reticulatum, but is well marked by the colour of the flowers which may be termed rich brick-red and as distinct among azaleas as that of R. griersonianum is among rhododendrons proper.
Azalea amagiana Makino