Rhododendron racemosum

A dense, compact low or erect straggly, evergreen shrub, height to a few metres. Sensitive to frost. Young shoots slightly scaly, reddish. Petiole with scattered scales, puberulent in the mid-groove, to 4 mm. Leaf blade widely obovate, broad elliptic on in some cases oblong, aromatic, with recurved margins, to 5 cm. Leaf apex rounded, obtuse, acute or acuminate, with mucro. Leaf base rounded to acute. Leaf adaxial side green, glabrous, with a few scattered scales, with fine hairs along the midrib. Leaf abaxial side white-green, densely scaly. Scales unequal in size, 90-170 micrs., with dark centres, 0-1 x their diameter apart. Inflorescence an umbel with (1) 2-3 flowers, from terminal or subterminal buds. Several inflorescences are joined in a false raceme. Pedicel red or green, with short-stipitate scales, 12-17 mm. Calyx purple or green, with wavy margin, scaly, c. 1 mm. Corolla with 5 lobes, widely funnel-shaped, lobes acute ovate, externally scattered scaly, puberulent in the throat, pink to white, or with a mixed colour of the two, c. 20 mm wide and c. 10 mm deep. Ovary conical, channeled, densely scaly, with 5 loculi, c. 2.5 mm. Stamens 10, uequal in length, pink (white), pubescent towards base, extended from the corolla. Style straight, glabrous, inserted in the ovary, pink (white), c. 16 mm, longer than stamens, with disc-shaped stigma, brown (green), 0.9 mm. Capsule conical, densely scaly, 7-8 mm. Seeds with poorly developed floating appendages, 0.9-1.1 mm. Native habitat: NW Guizhou, SW Sichuan, Yunnan, China, at 1500-3500 (-3800) m according to Flora of China efloras org.