Rhododendron augustinii ssp. augustinii

Description with 18 photos. Photo: Finn Bertelsen. A densely branched, a few meters high, evergreen shrub. Hardy. Young shoots glabrous and/or puberulent, with scattered scales, reddish. Petiole hairy particularly in the groove, reddish, to 7 mm. Leaf blade elliptic to oblong lanceolate, to 9 cm. Leaf apex with mucro. Leaf base obtuse. Leaf adaxial side with scattered scales, green. Leaf abaxial side light green, glabrous, with hairy midrib, scaly with scales 2-5 x their diam. apart. Scales golden or brown, 135 – 230 micrs. in diam. Flower bud terminal, spindle-shaped, with bud scales scattered scaly and ciliolate. Inflorescence with 2 – 4 flowers. Pedicel glabrous or puberulent, scaly, 12 – 20 mm. Calyx with 5 rounded lobes, scaly and ciliate, c. 1 mm. Corolla with 5 lobes, broadly funnel-shaped, zygomorphic, externally scaly. pubescent in the throat, light purple spotted wine red. Ovary conical, densely scaly, glabrous or hairy, with 5 loculi, with inserted style, 4 – 5 mm. Stamens 10, unequal in lenght, hairy at base. Style glabrous, upwards bent, longer than stamens, purple red, with turbinate, bullate red brown stigma. Capsule cylindrical, densely scaly, to 13 mm. Seeds with moderate floating appendages, without wings, 1.2-1.8 mm. Native habitat: Hubei, Shaanxi, Sichuan, China at 1000 – 2100m according to Flora of China efloras org. Remarks: The specimens of the garden are grown from seeds of unknown origin. The colour of the corolla is probably too reddish for the subspecies in comparison with the prevalent blue shades described in the literature.