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Rhododendron scintillans Balf. f. & W. W. Sm.

Modern name

Rhododendron polycladum Franch.

An evergreen shrub up to 312 ft high, of twiggy habit; young shoots very slender, erect, densely scaly. Leaves oblong-lanceolate, abruptly pointed, tapered at the base, 14 to 34 in. long, 16 to 38 in. wide, dark green above, greyish beneath, scaly on both sides; stalk 116 to 18 in. long. Flowers three to six in a terminal cluster 112 in. wide, opening in April. Calyx very small but distinctly lobed, scaly, fringed towards the end of the lobes; flower-stalk very short and scaly. Corolla lavender-blue to purplish blue, 34 to 1 in. wide, the ovate lobes sometimes reaching to within 18 in. of the base; throat downy; stamens ten, downy at the base, 12 in. long. Ovary scaly; style purple, distinctly longer than the stamens, glabrous. (s. Lapponicum)

Native of N.W. Yunnan and S.W. Szechwan; discovered by Forrest on the pass between Lankiung and Hoching and introduced by him from the type-locality in 1913 (F.10014). It is a characteristic species of the rhododendron moorlands, found at altitudes up to 14,500 ft. The undersides of the leaves resemble those of R. impeditum, the scales being spaced at about their own diameter apart, with a green surface between, but the leaves are relatively narrower, and it is taller-growing. The flowers vary in colour from pale lavender-blue to a deep near-blue, and both extremes are attractive; they are frost-resistant and the plant itself is of course completely hardy. A lavender-blue form was awarded a First Class Certificate when shown from Exbury on May 1, 1934.

In their revision of the Lapponicum group (1975), M. N. and W. R. Philipson submerge R. scintillans in R. polycladum Franch.

Rhododendron scintillans

Rhododendron scintillans

From the Supplement (Vol. V)

See R. polycladum in this supplement.



Other species in the genus