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Rhododendron kongboense Hutch.

Modern name

Rhododendron kongboense Hutch.

An evergreen shrub usually 2 to 3 ft high, but found by Kingdon Ward up to 8 ft high in open forest. Leaves oblong or oblong-lanceolate, up to 1 in. long, about half as wide, with scattered scales above, undersides densely coated with light brown scales. Flowers in a dense terminal head, very shortly stalked, opening in April or May. Calyx up to 316 in. long, scaly. Corolla rosy pink, narrowly tubular, densely hairy inside and out, not scaly. Stamens five, glabrous, just reaching to the mouth of the tube. Ovary usually densely scaly; style about as long as ovary, glabrous. Bot. Mag., t. 9492. (s. Anthopogon)

R. kongboense was discovered by Kingdon Ward in 1924 on the Doshong La at the eastern end of the Himalaya, in the Tibetan province of Kongbo, and was introduced by him during the same expedition. It is of taller and laxer growth than most members of the Anthopogon series, and with flowers of an unusually deep shade of pink. It is perfectly hardy, but not common in gardens. The leaves are highly aromatic and were burnt as incense by rich householders in Kongbo (Kingdon Ward, Assam Adventure, p. 72).



Other species in the genus