An evergreen shrub of erect habit probably up to 8 ft or more high; young shoots slender, downy. Leaves lanceolate, slenderly pointed, 1 to 21⁄2 in. long, 1⁄3 to 3⁄4 in. wide, dull dark green and downy on the midrib above, scaly below; leaf-stalk 1⁄6 to 1⁄4 in. long, furnished with a few long bristles. Flowers opening in May, two to four in a terminal cluster. Calyx very small, five-lobed, the larger lobes 1⁄10 in. long, scaly; flower-stalk 1⁄3 in. long. Corolla shortly tubed, 11⁄2 in. wide, yellowish white with brownish spots on the upper side; scaly outside. Stamens ten, the longest 11⁄4 in. long, all with a tuft of white down near, but not at, the base of the white stalks; anthers exposed, crimson. Ovary scaly with a fringe of white hairs at the top; style glabrous, greenish yellow, except where it joins the ovary. (s. Triflorum ss. Yunnanense)
Native of China, probably from E. Szechwan, and collected by Farges; raised c. 1898 from seed by de Vilmorin at Les Barres. It is the plant distributed by Chenault of Orleans as “R. Augustinii album”, but is of course easily distinguished from R. augustinii at any time by the absence of the line of down on the midrib beneath that is so distinctive a character of that species. R. vilmorinianum is best marked by the yellowish scales and their occurrence outside the corolla-tube, by the down on the shoots and upper surface of the midrib, and by the bristles on the leaf-stalk.