An evergreen bush up to 20 ft high in the wild, sometimes taller; young shoots rough with scales. Leaves oval-lanceolate to narrowly obovate, tapering at both ends, the apex usually acuminate, 11⁄2 to 3 in. long, 1⁄2 to 11⁄2 in. wide, dark green and nearly glabrous above, thickly dotted beneath with minute red-brown scales; stalk 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 in. long. Flowers in dense terminal trusses, opening in June; pedicels up to 3⁄4 in. long. Calyx-lobes very short. Corolla 1 to 11⁄2 in. wide, funnel-shaped, pale pinkish purple, spotted on the upper side with brownish-red, densely scaly on the outside. Stamens ten, hairy at the base. Ovary scaly; style glabrous. Bot. Mag., t. 2285. (s. Carolinianum)
Native of the south-eastern USA from South Carolina to Georgia and Alabama; introduced in 1786. As seen in this country it is inferior to its ally R. carolinianum, from which it differs in its more pointed leaves, in the corollas being densely scaly on the outside, and in their longer tubes, 2⁄3 in. or more long. It also flowers later, usually in June.
For the hybrids of R. minus, see p. 834.