Rhododendron moupinense

Description with 25 photos. Photo: Finn Bertelsen. A low, evergreen shrub with open growth. Expected hardy in the garden – except for frost damage of early flowering. Young shoots greenish, hairy or not. Petiole brown setose on upper side and sides, with scattered brown scales, to 8 mm. Leaf blade ovoid, oval or obovoid, with recurved setose margins, leathery, without aroma, to 48 mm. Apex obtuse to rounded, with mucro. Leaf base obtuse to rounded. Leaf upper side dark green, with scattered, brown, funnel-shaped, short stipitate scales, c. 150 micrs., to be shed in time. Midrib in part setose. Leaf lower side grey-green, densely scaly. Scales 80-180 micrs. (0.5) – 1 – (2) their diameter apart. Inflorescence terminal, with (1) – 2 flowers. Pedicel scattered scaly and hairy, to 18 mm. Calyx with 5 unequal, semicircular lobes – two large, three smaller, 1.4 – 2.4 mm. Lobes scaly, ciliate and with marginal scales. Corolla with 5 lobes, openly funnel-shaped, white with two faint reddeish markings, outside glabrous, inside with traces of hairs in the throat, c. 50-60 mm wide, c. 30-35 mm deep (long). Ovary ovoid-conical, tapering into the style, densely scaly, with 5 loculi, c. 4 mm. Stamens 10, unequal in length, limited to corolla, lower halves pubescent, 24-34 mm, with anthers redbrown, 3-4 mm. Style straight, glabrous (some scales close to ovary), reaching mouth of corolla, to 38 mm with greenish stigma, 1.4 mm in diam. Capsule narrow ovoid, channelled, densely scaly, to 17 x 9 mm. Seeds with minor floating appendages and with distinct wings, 2.8-3.3 mm. Locality of origin: Baoxing County, Sichuan, China at 2900 m. Native habitat: Guizhou, Sichuan, NE Yunnan at 1900-4000m according to Flora of China. Remarks: The occurrence of adaxial scales is probably not described earlier. The above described plant is grown in a cold house and the leaves have therefore not been exposed to a climatic erosion, which in time will remove the stipitate scales.