Rhododendron auriculatum

Description with 24 photos. Photo: Finn Bertelsen. Large shrub or small tree. Fully hardy in a protected place. Young shoots stipitate glandular. Leaf bud glandular hairy, pointed conical with narrow perulae. Petiole stipitate glandular, to 30 mm. Leaf blade oblong elliptic to oblanceolate, to 29 x 10 cm. Leaf apex acute, with mucro. Leaf base auriculate. Leaf adaxial side dark green (in shadow), stipitate glandular in the marginal zone, otherwise glabrous. Leaf abaxial side grey green, stipitate glandular on nerves. Inflorescence loose with up to 15 flowers. Rachis to 35 mm. Pedicel glandular, green or reddish, to 3 x 20-30 mm. Calyx asymmetrical (the two upper lobes enlarged) with rounded, triangular lobes, 3 (5) mm. Corolla with 7-(8) lobes, funnel-shaped, externally slightly glandular hairy, white, sligthly spotted, with lily-of-the-valley fragrance, 60-70 mm deep, 70-85 mm wide. Ovary slightly conical, channeled, densely glandular, with 8-9-(10) loculi, 7 mm. Stamens 14-16, unequal in lenght (38-53 mm), glabrous or with rudimentary glands. Style glandular, greenish, to 85 mm, with upwards bent, green, disc-shaped stigma, 4.3 mm. Capsule curved, cylindrical, channeled, to 40 x 13 mm. Seeds with well-developed wings and floating sacs, 3.3-4.8 mm. Native habitat: N. Guizhou, W.Hubei, S. Shaanxi, E. Sichuan, China at 600-2000 m according to Flora of China. Remarks: Late flowering.