Rhododendron nivale ssp. boreale 'Chuanzhuzi'

Description with 26 photos. Photo: Finn Bertelsen. A low (1<m), erect, evergreen shrub. Very hardy. Young shoots covered by dark, short-stipitate, scales. Petiole with dark/light coloured mixed scales, 2-4 mm. Leaf blade elliptic to oblong, with revolute margins, aromatic, to 22 mm. Length:width = 1.9-2.1.  Leaf apex obtuse to rounded, with mucro. Leaf base acute to rounded cuneate. Leaf adaxial side with in part overlapping light scales scales, 230-285 mm micrs. Leaf abaxial side with in part overlapping and dense scales, some light coloured (the majority) 180-230 micrs., some dark brown c. 285 micrs. Ligth:dark scale ratio c. 10-20:1. Bud scales (vegetative) densely scaly with light scales. Inflorescence with (1)2-? flowers, from terminal buds. Pedicel scaly, 1-3 mm. Calyx with 5-6 rounded lobes, densely scaly, with very fine marginal hairs, c. 1mm. Corolla with 5 lobes, widely funnel-shaped to saucer-shaped, lobes broadly ovoid, c. 8 x 8 mm, with scarce external scales, with hairy throat, purple, 22 mm wide, 5 mm deep. Ovary conical, scaly, with fine distal hairs, with 5 loculi, c. 2-2.5 mm. Stamens (9)-10-(11), purple, proximally pubescent with glandular hairs. Style red-purple, glabrous, straight, 3.2-3.7 mm, with swollen, bullate, brown stigma. Anthers and stigma protrude to level of corolla margin. Capsule ovoid. Seeds not described so far. Localities of origin: Huanglong and the Chuanzhuzi pass, Songpan, Sichuan, China, at 3000 – 3900 m.