Rhododendron delavayi X 'Baili'

Description with 21 photos. Photo: Finn Bertelsen. Open evergreen shrub. Need som protection. Young shoots cinnamon brown floccose and glandular, rapidly turning into crimson. Petiole brownish floccose with scattered glands, crimson, to 24 mm. Leaf blade lanceolate to oblanceolate, with revolute margins, to 14 cm. Apex acute to obtuse acute, without mucro. Leaf base acute. Leaf adaxial side dark green, initially covered by a brownish floccose tomentum of branched, flat hairs, easily removed, slightly rugose with depressed veins. Leaf abaxial side with a whitish, later fawn, very thin, bi-strate, spongy, fibrous indumentum of thin hairs overlaying a thin compact white bottom layer. Midrib glabrous, crimson. All veins raised. Inflorescence an umbel-like raceme, round with 7 flowers (first time flowering). Flower bud globular. Bud in opening phase with scales characterized by a central “tooth”. Pedicel glandula-hairy, crimson, to 16 mm.Calyx with 5, rounded glandular, crimson lobes, 2.4 mm. Corolla with 5 lobes with revolute margins, tubular-campanulate, glabrous, with 5 nectar pouches, scarlet red, c. 50 mm deep (long). Ovary conical, densely white glandular-hairy, with 8 loculi, c. 5 mm. Stamens 10, unequal in length, glabrous. Style straight, glabrous, red-coloured, to 40 mm, with divided, bullate, blackish-red stigma, 2.4 mm. Capsule cylindrical, densely hairy, to 15 mm. Seeds unknown. Remarks: The plant is offspring from the “King of Rhododendron” (Du Juan Hua Wang) close to Du Juan Village, Baili, Bijie County, Guizhou, China, from seed batch No. FB9.2015. Among the offspring plants, this plant is close to a pure delavayi, but differs in having a very thin abaxial indumentum, crimson petioles etc., and 8 loculi in the ovary instead of 10. Other offspring plants have faint or nearly missing indumentum, and leaves being to big (to 20 cm) in relation to the species description. Thes plants have not been grown in the green house and they have not yet been flowering. In the Baili rhododendron park you will notice many hybrids after delavayi, decorum and irroratum, some of which are named agastum. Close to the seed source, grows an irroratum. It is impossible to conclude on this observation.