Rhododendron calostrotum ssp. keleticum

Description with 20 photos. Photo: Finn Bertelsen. A low, prostrate, evergreen shrub. Hardy. Young shoots and petioles scaly with a mixture of short-stipitate and sessile scales. Petiole to 3 mm. Leaf blade oblong obovate, coriaceous, to 18 mm. Leaf apex obtuse to rounded, with long, deflexed mucro. Leaf base acute to cuneate. Leaf adaxial side dark green, shiny, scattered scaly. Scales 1 – 3 x their diam. apart, 190 – 240 micrs. Leaf margin setose. Leaf abaxial side grey-brown, densely covered by multiple layers of overlapping fawn scales. Scales up to 210 micrs. Inflorescence with 1 – 3 flowers. Pedicel scaly, to 27 mm. Calyx with 5 lobes, ovate, scaly, ciliate, to 5 mm. Corolla with 5 lobes, widely funnel-shaped, externally puberulent, hairy in the throat, light reddish purple, spotted crimson in the uppermost 3 lobes. Ovary densely scaly. Stamens 10, purple, pubescent at base. Style glabrous, extending from corolla mouth, reddish purple with upwards bent, bullate, green stigma. Capsule enclosed by calyx, scaly, c. 5 mm.Seeds with floating appendages, without wings, 850 – 900 micrs. Native habitat: NW Yunnan, SE Xizang, China and NE Myanmar at 3000 – 3900 m according to Flora of China efloras.org. Other sources mention altitudes to 4600 m.