An evergreen shrub at present 3 to 4 ft high in cultivation, but probably becoming taller; young shoots loosely scaly. Leaves narrowly oblong or oblong-lanceolate, 21⁄2 to 5 in. long, less than half as wide, apex mucronate, soon glabrous above, glaucous and scaly beneath; stalk 1⁄2 to 1 in. long. Flowers solitary. Calyx with five deep oval lobes about 1⁄2 in. long; stamens ten, about the length of the corolla-tube, hairy towards the base. Corolla funnel-shaped, 4 in. long, nearly as wide across, the five rounded, spreading lobes, cream-coloured, faintly tinged with pink; at the base are five oblong pouches. Bot. Mag., t. 9614. (s. Maddenii ss. Megacalyx)
This species was described from a plant raised by Lord Headfort from seeds collected ‘blind’ by Kingdon Ward in November 1924 in the Tsangpo Gorge, S.E. Tibet (KW 6310). According to his field note it made a dwarf plant there, 1 to 11⁄2 ft high, growing as an epiphyte or on cliffs and boulders, but in cultivation it has grown taller. Dr Hutchinson, in describing R. headfortianum, included in it a specimen without flowers or fruits collected by Kingdon Ward in the Delei valley, Assam, in 1928, under KW 8546. But that number is really R. lindleyi (q.v.).
R. headfortianum appears to be uncommon in cultivation.