Rhododendron lepidostylum

Description with 18 photos. Photo: Finn Bertelsen. A low, spreading, evergreen shrub being fully hardy. Young branchlets and petioles covered with scattered brown scales and 2 mm long setae. Leaf blade oblong oval to elliptic, aromatic, to 5 cm. Leaf apex acute obtuse to acute, with mucro. Leaf adaxial side bluish-grey, white bloomed on new growth, later dark green, glabrous, with slightly revolute, setose margins. Leaf abaxial side with thin waxy cover, light glaucous, lepidote with golden, vesicular scales 0.5 – 3 x the diameter apart., 150 – 240 micrs. Flower bud broadly spindle-shaped, yellow-green, with lepidote cover scales. Inflorescence with 1-3 flowers. Pedicel lepidote and setose. Calyx, lepidote, with rounded lobes fringed with setae. Corolla with 5 lobes, funnel-campanulate, zygomorphic, light yellow, externally lepidote, internally with fine, colourless bristles near base and with brownish or greenish blotch. Ovary densely lepidote. Stamens 10, of unequal lengths, with fine proximal bristles corresponding to those of the corolla. Style with only a few, proximal bristles, otherwise glabrous, gradually expanding and becoming green coloured towards the stigma. Style and stamens protruding from the mouth of corolla. Capsule 8 – 10 mm, cylindrical, lepidote. Seeds with small floating appendages, 0.9 – 1.0 mm. Native habitat: W Yunnan, China at 3000 – 3700 m according to Flora of China efloras org.