Rhododendron degronianum ssp. heptamerum var. heptamerum

Description with 23 photos. Photo: Finn Bertelsen. An evergreen, compact rounded shrub. Hardy. Young shoots whitish tomentose. Petiole tomentose, to 20 mm. Leaf blade narrow elliptic to oblanceolate, with slightlyrevolute margins, coriaceous, to 12.5 cm. Leaf apex acute-obtuse, without mucro. Leaf base acute to obtuse. Leaf adaxial side at first whitish tomentose, later glabrous, dark green. Leaf abaxial side cinnamon brown with bistrate indumentum. Upper layer felted, by dense short-stalked ramiform hairs with thin branches. Lower layer white, compact. Flower bud pointed ovoid. Inflorescence an umbelle -like raceme with 4-13 flowers. Rachis c. 20 mm. Pedicel reddish, with ramiform and glandular hairs. Calyx with 7 rounded, glandular hairy lobes, 1.5-1.7 mm. Corolla with (6)-7 lobes, funnel-campanulate, light pink to pink, glabrous inside and outside, c. 70 mm wide, c. 35 mm deep (long). Ovary rounded conical, densely hairy and glandular hairy, with 7 loculi, 4.5 – 5 mm. Stamens (12) 14, unequal in length. Filaments glandular hairy towards base. Style glabrous, straight, with upwards bent, yellowish, turbinate stigma, 1.4 mm. Capsule cylindrical, densely hairy. Seeds with narrow wings and well-developed floating appendages, 2.0-2.3 mm. Native habitat: Kyushu, Shikoku, SE Honshu, Japan according to Pearson, R., 1978. J.Am:Rho.Soc., V32,2. Remarks: The specimens of the garden are derived from open pollinated seeds. The occurrence of glandular hairs on pedicel, calyx, ovary etc. is alien to the species and the plants are probably better considered hybrids. The species was formerly known as R. metternichii.