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Rhododendron houlstonii Hemsl. & Wils.

Modern name

Rhododendron discolor Franch.


R. fortunei var. houlstonii (Hemsl. & Wils.) Rehd. & Wils.

An evergreen shrub up to 12 ft high, with stout, glabrous branchlets. Leaves oblong or slightly obovate, 3 to 6 in. long, 34 to 2 in. wide, narrowed abruptly at the apex to a short point, tapered or rounded at the base, both surfaces perfectly smooth, the upper one dark green, the lower very pale; stalk purple, 12 to 118 in. long. Flowers eight or more in a truss, flesh-pink, about 3 in. across. Corolla widely bell-shaped, seven-lobed; stamens twelve or fourteen, with glabrous stalks; summit of ovary and base of style hairy-glandular; flower-stalk covered with viscid stalked glands, 1 in. or more long. (s. and ss. Fortunei)

Native of W. Hupeh and E. Szechwan; discovered by Augustine Henry in 1888 and introduced by Wilson in 1900 from the Hsing-shan region of Hupeh. It first flowered in Veitch’s Coombe Wood nursery in 1913. According to Wilson it is a woodland species, but never seen by him more than 15 ft high and always compact. In the wild it flowers in late April or early May, about three weeks earlier than R. fortunei. It is allied to that species, but differs in the tapered base of the leaves, the glandular flower-stalks, the bell-shaped corolla and longer stamens.

From the Supplement (Vol. V)

Included in R. fortunei subsp. discolor.



Other species in the genus