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Rhododendron trichanthum Rehd.

Modern name

Rhododendron trichanthum Rehder


R. villosum Hemsl. & Wils., not Roth

An evergreen shrub up to 18 ft high; branchlets slender, scaly, and clothed with pale bristles 18 in. long. Leaves scattered on the vigorous shoots, clustered at the end of weaker ones; ovate or oblong, pointed, rounded or tapered at the base, 2 to 312 in. long, 34 to 114 in. wide; upper surface sparsely scaly, downy about the midrib, and freely sprinkled with pale, long bristles; lower surface more scaly but less bristly, and downy only on and about the midrib; stalk 18 to 14 in. long, bristly. Flowers in May or June in clusters of three to five, borne on bristly pedicels about 12 in. long. Calyx minute, hidden in bristles. Corolla funnel-shaped, about 134 in. wide, light to dark purple, bristly on the tube outside and scaly. Stamens ten, hairy towards the base. Ovary bristly and scaly; style glabrous. Bot. Mag., t. 8880. (s. Triflorum ss. Augustinii)

Native of W. and S.W. Szechwan at altitudes of up to 11,ooo ft, said to be a very common species, especially in woodland, where it forms dense thickets; introduced by Wilson in 1904. It is a very distinct species in the bristliness of its various parts, and quite handsome in its darker-coloured forms. It is hardy in a sheltered position.

The Award of Merit was given on June 8, 1971, to the clone ‘Honey Wood’, exhibited by Major A. E. Hardy, Sandling Park, Kent.



Other species in the genus