Rhododendron ferrugineum

Description with 14 photos. Photo: Finn Bertelsen. A low, compact, slightly spreading, evergreen shrub known as Rusty Alprose. Fully hardy. Young shoots and petioles densely lepidote with brownish scales. Petiole to 6 mm.Leaf blade elliptic to lanceolate, to 5 cm. Leaf apex rounded, with tiny mucro. Leaf base cuneate tapering. Leaf adaxial side dark green, slightly rugose, with a few or none scattered scales. Leaf abaxial side brownish olive green (rusty), as indicated by the species name, densely scaly with brown scales contiguous to overlapping, 180-300 micrs. Flower bud obovate, with yellow, scaly and ciliolate bud scales. Calyx with 5 lobes, scaly, <1mm. Corolla with 5 lobes, tubular with spreading lobes, outside scaly, pale pink to rose. Ovary ovoid, channelled, densely scaly. Stamens 10, unequal in length. Filaments pubescent towards base. Style red, glabrous, straight, as short as the shortest stamens, appr. 2 x the ovary in length, with yellowish, saucer-shaped and lobate stigma. Capsule ovoid, scaly, 5mm. Seeds with tiny floating appendages, c. 1mm. Native habitat: Alps and Pyrenees, Europe at 1600 – 2200 m according to IUCNredlist.org.