Rhododendron anthopogonoides sensu Fang 1986

Description with 20 photos. Photo: Finn Bertelsen. A thin, upright, evergreen shrub, less than 1m high – so far, very hardy. Branchlets brownish, scaly and in part puberulent. Petiole scaly and puberulent, < 5 mm. Leaf blade elliptic, margins slightly revolute, coriaceous, sweet aromatic, to 27 x 12 mm. Leaf apex acute obtuse to rounded, with mucro. Leaf base rounded, obtuse, rarely acute. Leaf adaxial side dark green, with small, scattered scales, glabrous. Leaf abaxial side brownish, densely scaly with multiple overlaying scales, with distinctive, raised midrib. Inflorescence a dense, semi-globular, terminal umbel with 10+ flowers. Flower bud scales scaly, puberulent, persisting during flowering. Pedicel pubescent, elepidote, 2 mm. Calyx deeply divided into 5 ovate lobes, finely puberulent and with marginal ciliate hairs, 2 mm+. Corolla with 5 lobes, tubular-funnelshaped with  spreading lobes, glabrous outside, densely covered with bristly hairs in the tube, pink (the tube) gradually turning white (the lobes), c. 12 x 12 mm (tube 7-8 mm), Flowers with a sweet, fruity fragrance. Ovary with proximal fine hairs, otherwise densely scaly, ovoid, 1.4 mm. Stamens 5, glabrous, equal in length, located deep in the tube, white, 4-5 mm. Anthers brown, 0.7 mm. Style short and wide, much shorter than the stamens, 1.2 mm, with turbinate, green stigma. Capsule and seeds unknown at present. Locality of origin: Huanglong, N. Sichuan, China, at 3000m. Native habitat – the species – according to Flora of China efloras org.: Gansu, Qinghai, NW Sichuan, China. The above described specimen closely match the description of specimens from Huanglong in Fang Wenpei 1986 (Sich.Rho.China). Cox & Cox refer this form to R. primuliflorum (Encl.Rho.Spec.). In PPBC (Plant Photo Bank of China) similar findings are recorded from Huanglong. The great majority of records of R. anthopogonoides are from the Gansu and Qinghai provinces. These plants are yellow flowered and with more multiple flowered inflorescences than the Huanglong specimens. From primuliflorum the Huanglong specimen separates by having elepidote, puberulent pedicels and calyx lobes.