Rhododendron delavayi var. delavayi 'Shibaoshan'

Description with 30 photos. Photo: Finn Bertelsen. Open evergreen shrub. Young shoots whitish tomentose and glandular. Petiole whitish tomentose with intermixed brown glands/papillae, tomentum most dense on the upper side, to 20 mm. Leaf blade lanceolate to oblanceolate, with revolute margins, slightly V-shaped in cross-section, to 11 cm. Apex acute to obtuse acute, without mucro. Leaf base acute. Leaf adaxial side dark green, initially covered by a whitish floccose tomentum of branched, flat hairs, easily removed, rugose with depressed nerves. Leaf abaxial side with a whitish, later fawn, thin spongy fibrous indumentum of thin hairs overlaying a thin compact white bottom layer. Midrib glabrous. All veins raised. Inflorescence an umbel-like raceme, with 7 – 13 flowers (first time flowering). Rachis c. 2 cm. Flower bud globular. Bud in opening phase with scales characterized by a central “tooth”. Pedicel glandular- hairy, to 17 mm. Calyx with 5, rounded triangular glandular lobes, 1.5 – 2 mm. Corolla with 5 lobes, campanulate, glabrous, with 5 nectar pouches, crimson red in opening, later scarlet red, slightly dotted, with a small dark blotch at base, c. 50 mm wide and c. 40 mm deep (long). Ovary slightly conical, densely white glandular-hairy, with 9-10 loculi, c. 2 mm. Stamens 10 or less, unequal, glabrous , to 25 mm. Style straight, with some glands at base, otherwise glabrous, distally increasing red-coloured, to 27 mm, with divided, bullate, blackish-red stigma, 2.8 mm. Capsule cylindrical, densely hairy, to 15 mm. Seeds with well-developed floating appendages and narrow wings, 1.1 – 1.3 mm. Locality of origin FB1-2014: Shibaoshan, Jinchuan County, Yunnan, China at 2600 m. Native habitat extensive: In China from Yunnan in west to Guangxi and Guizhou in east at 1200 – 3200 m, according to Flora of China. Remarks: The occurrence of glands is not described in FoC, but is included in the description made by Davidian, HH., 1989, The Rhododendron species, vol. II. Var. peramoenum has more narrow leaves than the above variety and var. pilostylum has a puberulent style.