Rhododendron ledebourii

Description with 29 photos. Photo: Finn Bertelsen. An upright, twiggy, semi-evergreen shrub, a few m high, fully hardy. Young shoots scaly, brown.Petiole scaly and puberulent, to 8 mm. Leaf blade oval, to 30 (35) mm. Leaf apex rounded, with deflexed mucro. Leaf base rounded to obtuse. Leaf adaxial side dark green, shiny, scaly. Scales concave, 1-3 x their diameter apart. Leaf abaxial side grey-green, densely scaly. Scales overlapping to 1.5 x their diam. apart. Scales 230-260 micrs. The leaves change to purple-brown during the winter. Flower buds 1-3, terminal or subterminal, with bud scales scaly along the mid-section and with marginal hairs. Inflorescence with 1-2 flowers. Pedicel scaly, short. Calyx c. 1 mm, with tiny lobes, scaly and ciliate. Corolla with 5 lobes, broadly funnel-shaped, reddish-purple, puberulent on the outside, without scales, c. 40. Ovary conical, channelled, conical, densely scaly, c. 3 mm. Stamens 10, unequal in length. Filaments puberulent with fine glandular hairs, reddish. Style inserted into the ovary, straight, glabrous, purple-red, c. 15 mm, with dark, swollen, disc-shaped, bullate stigma. Capsule conical, channelled, densely scaly. Seeds with small floating appendages and with? narrow wings, 1.0 – 1.1 mm. Native habitat: Siberia (Altai and Sanya Mts.) and Mongolia according to eFloras org.: Ornam. Plants from Russia. Remarks: Some authors consider R. ledebourii  being a variant of R. dauricum, and not a true species. In the garden it tends to grow higher and to have more narrow leaves the R. dauricum. It starts flowering much earlier than R. dauricum. It has a ciliate calyx.