Rhododendron hemitrichotum

Description with 28 photos. Photo: Finn Bertelsen. An upright, leggy, evergreen shrub. Hardy in the garden. Young shoots, bud scales and petioles reddish, scattered scaly and densely puberulent. Petiole to 5 mm. Leaf blade narrow elliptical, arched, aromatic, to 4.4 cm. Apex acute-obtuse, with mucro. Leaf base acute. Leaf upper side dark greyish green with a dusty tinge, scattered scaly and densely puberulent. Leaf lower side light glaucous, scaly with scales 120 – 190 micrs., 0.5 – 2 x their diameter apart, micro-papillose. Inflorescence umbellate, with 2 3 flowers from axillary buds. More inflorescences are united in a semi-globular false umbella. Flower bud scales persistent. Pedicel reddish, scaly and puberulent, to 12 mm. Calyx cup-shaped with diffuse lobes, scaly and puberulent, 1.4 mm. Corolla openly funnel-shaped, with 5 rounded, triangular lobes, externally sparsely scaly, internally glabrous, white tinged pink, 20 mmwide, 12 mm deep (long). Ovary ovoid, densely scaly and puberulent, with 5 loculi, 2.1 mm. Stamens 10, unequal in length, 2 with basic hairs, 8 glabrous, extending from corolla, with purple anthers, 1.2 mm.Style glabrous or with a few basic hairs, inserted in ovary, longer the stamens, pink, to c. 20 mm, withbullate, pink stigma, 0.8 mm. Capsule scaly and puberulent, 5 mm long. Seeds wingless and with tiny floating sacs, 1.0 -1.2 mm. Locality of origin: Unknown. Occurrence: Yunnan, Sichuan, China at 2200 – 4000 m according to Flora of China. Remarks: The occurrence of an abaxial carpet of micro papillae is mentioned in Cullen, J. et al., 2011: The European Garden Flora Flowering Plants, Vol. IV, p. 318. Cambridge Univ. Press. The abaxial cell-surface is glabrous in Rh. racemosum.