Rhododendron tatsienense FB8-2013

Description with 24 photos (Photo: Finn Bertelsen). Evergreen, hardy shrub. Young shoots crimson, scattered scaly. Petiole reddish, scattered scaly, to 10 mm. Leaf blade elliptic, lancet or obovate, slightly aromatic, to 6.5 cm. Apex acute, acute-obtuse or obtuse, with mucro. Leaf base acute to cuneate. Leaf upper side dark green, sparsely scaly. Scales 170-180 micrs, 4-5 x their diameter apart. Leaf lower side greenish grey, scaly. Scales 140-200 micrs., 1-2 x their diameter apart. Inflorescence with 2-5 flowers. More subterminal inflorescences are gathered in a globular truss. Pedicel reddish, scaly to 14 mm. Calyx reddish, densely scaly, cup-shaped, to 1.4 mm. Corolla funnel-shaped, with 5 lobes, slightly zygomorphic, externally slightly scaly, internally glabrous, reddish purple, dark spotted (or even whitish pink on the same plant), 20-35 mm wide, 17 mm deep (long). Ovary ovoid, channelled, densely scaly, with 5 loculi, 3.2 mm. Stamens 10, unequal in length, pubescent, extending from corolla moputh, white with dark anthers. Anthers 1.4 mm. Style with a few basic hairs, otherwise glabrous, inserted in the ovary, longer the stamens, purple, to 18 mm, with bullate stigma, dark brown, 1.5 mm. Capsule conical, scaly to 9 mm. Seeds with tiny floating appendices (fins) and no wings, 1.1-1.4 mm. Locality of origin: By the north drive to the Chizu Pass, Jiulong, Kangding County, at 3850 m. Occurrence of the species: N and SW Sichuan, N Yunnan, China at 2300-3600 m according to Flora of China. Remarks: The leaf shape corresponds to that of the holotype of R. hypophaeum, Forrest 16249, 1918.