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Rhododendron chrysodoron Hutch.

Modern name

Rhododendron chrysodoron Tagg ex Hutch.

An evergreen small shrub; young shoots sparingly bristly. Leaves oval, rounded at the base, also somewhat rounded at the apex but furnished with a conspicuous mucro there; mostly 2 to 3 in. long, 1 to 112 in. wide, bright green and glabrous above, glaucous green and scaly beneath, more or less ciliate; stalk 13 to 12 in. long, bristly. Flowers in terminal clusters of about five. Calyx rim­like. Corolla bell-shaped, 112 in. long and wide, with five lobes each 1 in. wide, notched about the middle, of a beautiful unspotted canary-yellow; stamens downy on the lower half. Ovary and flower-stalk very scaly; style bent. Bot. Mag., t. 9442. (s. and ss. Boothii)

This species first came to notice in 1931, when Lord Stair sent it to Edinburgh for naming. It had been raised from seeds received under the number Forrest 25446 and probably collected in N.W. Yunnan, but the corresponding herbarium specimen is R. ciliicalyx and the field note refers to this. It proved to be a hitherto unknown species and was given the name R. chrysodoron but this was first published in 1934 by Hutchinson, who drew up his description from a flowering spray shown by Lord Aberconway at the R.H.S. Show on February 20. It received an Award of Merit on that occasion as a hardy shrub, but it is generally reckoned to be tender and is, besides, too early-flowering to be of much use as an outdoor plant, March or early April being its usual season. It is, however, a beautiful species, not too large for the cool greenhouse.

R. chrysodoron is also in cultivation from seeds collected by Kingdon Ward in the Adung valley, upper Burma, where it grows perched high on trees or on rocks in the river-bed (Field Notes for 1931, under KW 9221; Plant Hunters Paradise, p. 132).

From the Supplement (Vol. V)

Forrest 25446, mentioned in the second paragraph on page 630, is not R. ciliicalyx but a new species – R. yungchangense Cullen. However, the cultivated plants supposed to be from this seed collection are R. chrysodoron, as stated.



Other species in the genus