Rhododendron dauricum

Description with 25 photos. Photo: Finn Bertelsen. A broadly upright, a few m high and a partly evergreen shrub with wintering of the uppermost youngest leaves. Fully hardy, but the early flowering is often destroyed by frost. Young shoots and petioles brownish, scattered scaly and puberulent. Petiole 7-11mm. Leaf blade elliptic to ovoid, slightly arched, very aromathic, to 47 mm. Leaf apex rounded, with distinct, deflexed mucro. Leaf base obtuse. Leaf adaxial side middle green or purple-brown (winter), shiny, scaly, with fine hairs covering the midrib. Scales (0) 1-3 x their diameter apart, 170-180 micrs. Leaf abaxial side greyish olive-green with reddish midrib, lepidote. Scales 0-2 x their diameter apart, 170-230 micrs. Flowering from terminal or subterminal buds in groups of one to four. Inflorescence with 1-2 flowers. Flower bud broadly spindle-shaped, densely scaly, with ciliolate bud scale margins. Pedicel c. 5 mm, scaly and puberulent with minute hairs c. 50 micrs. long. Calyx rim-shaped, scaly, < 1mm. Corolla with 5 lobes,broadly funnel-shaped, on the outside slightly hairy-glandular hairy at base, internally glabrous, red purple, c. 35 mm wide, c. 15 mm deep. Ovary ovoid-conical, densely scaly, with inserted style, with 5 loculi, c. 2.5 mm. Stamens 10, unequal in length. Filaments in lower parts glandular hairy, red purple. Style longer than stamens, glabrous, red purple, 20-25 mm, with slightly swollen, dark bullate stigma, 0.8 mm. Capsule unknown. Seeds unknown. Native habitat: NE China (Heilongjiang, Jilin, Inner Mongolia), Japan, Korea, Mongolia, (E) Russia according to Flora of China efloras org. Remarks: Wider leaves and earlier flowering separates this species from Rh. ledebourii.