Rhododendron calophytum var. calophytum

Description with 16 photos. Photo: Finn Bertelsen. Large shrub or tree, evergreen, with widely spread, umbrella-shaped crown, in time with substantial height. Fully hardy, but wind protection is needed. Young shoots stout, initially slightly whitish tomentose, later glabrous and green. Petiole edged with wings, stout and wide, to 35 mm. Leaf blade oblanceolate,edge not recurved, coriaceous, to 30 cm. Leaf apex acuminate to acute, with poorly developed mucro. Leaf base cuneate. Leaf adaxial side at first silvery tomentose, later glabrous, green. Leaf lower side glabrous, grey green, with greyish relics of indumentum along the midrib. Inflorescence flattened globose, with up to 30 flowers. Rachis to 20 mm. Pedicel reddish, to 60 mm. Calyx a saucer-shaped pentagon, with thickened undulating margin, glabrous, 1.5-2 mm. Corolla campanulate, with 5-(7) lobes each divided into two parts, white, with or without a reddish tinge, with crimson blotch, to 65 mm wide and 50 mm deep. Ovary glabrous, ovoid, with 11 loculi (1 obs. only), with inserted style, 8-9 x 6 mm. Stamens 15-20, unequal in length, white, proximally finely hairy, 20-35 mm. Style glabrous, white, c. 35 x 1.7 mm, with upwards bent, expanded, disc-shaped, yellow stigma, 5 mm. Capsule glabrous, cylindrical, to 30 x 7 mm. Seeds with well developed wings and floating appendages, 2.8-4.0 mm. Native habitat: SE Gansu, C. and N. Guizhou, V. Hubei, S. Shaanxi, Sichuan, NE. Yunnan, China at 1800-4000 m according to Flora of China efloras org.