Rhododendron simsii var. simsii 'Baili'

Description with 18 photos. A straggly, partly evergreen shrub with a winding growth pattern. Hardiness test in the garden is on going. Young shoots winding, thin (2-3 mm), brownish, covered by flat, acute, appressed setae with frayed margins. Petiole with adpressed, flat hairs, to 10 mm. Leaf blade obovate, oblanceolate, elliptic, ovate, papery, to 7.0 x 2.7 cm, but form and size variates in relation to the seasonal opening times. Leaf apex acute to acute-obtuse, with mucro. Leaf base cuneate to acute. Leaf adaxial side and margin green, covered by scattered, brownish setae. Leaf abaxial side light green, covered by scattered, brownish setae. Midrib densely strigose. Inflorescence with 1-2 flowers. Pedicel densely covered by adpressed, flat setae, to 8 mm. Calyx with 5, acute lobes covered by adpressed hairs, to 5 mm. Corolla with 5 lobes, funnel-shaped, orange red with faint purple spots, c. 60 mm wide, c. 50 mm deep (long). Ovary conical, densely covered by white, flat, adpressed setae, with 5 loculi, c. 3 mm. Stamens 10, unequal in length, with lower half densely pubescent, red-coloured, extending to corolla mouth. Style straight, glabrous, red, with upward bent, crimson, turbinate stigma 1.2 mm, to 55 mm. Capsule densely covered by adpressed, brown, flat setae, to 12 mm. Seeds with tiny floating appendages and without wings, 1.2 – 1.4 mm. Locality of origin FB10-2015: Baili, Bijie County, Guizhou, China at 1300 – 1400 m. Native habitat: The species is widely distributed in southern China and neighbouring countries according to Flora of China. Remarks: var. simsii has red-coloured corolla contrary to var. mesembrinum with white to pink (and smaller) corolla (FoC).