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Shrub to 8m in the wild, terrestrial, young stems densely covered with shortly stalked scales. Leaves 0.7-4 x 0.5-2cm, ovate, elliptic, broadly elliptic to subcircular, the apex broadly acute, abruptly acuminate or more rarely obtuse, the margin slightly revolute and minutely crenulate with impressed scales, the base rounded; the upper surface at first densely scaly but weathering and only leaving impressed scale bases, midrib slightly impressed above, the laterals 2-4 pairs, very slightly impressed; underside with the midrib strongly raised, the laterals slightly so, densely and persistently scaly with touching or overlapping stellate to almost rounded silvery brown scales. Flowers 3-5 per umbel, horizontal to hanging; calyx disk-shaped, densely scaly; corolla dark red, rarely white, cylindrical, slightly curved, 0.8-1.5 x 0.5-0.7cm, densely scaly outside; stamens 10, rather unequal and irregularly grouped in the mouth; ovary densely brown-scaly, the style glabrous.
Distribution Papua New Guinea (widespread on the main ranges).
RHS Hardiness H1b.
Commonly mistaken for R. inconspicuurn which is an easier species to grow and much more common in collections. R. yelliotii is more densely scaly with the scales touching or overlapping on the undersides of the leaves; the flower buds are hairy and scaly with ciliated edges to the bracts and the flowers are generally darker in colour than in R. inconspicuum.