104. Rhododendron nivale J. D. Hooker, Rhododendr. Sikkim-Himalaya. 3: t. 26(B). 1851.
雪层杜鹃 xue ceng du juan
Small, much-branched prostrate or erect shrubs, usually forming dense cushions, (0.3–)0.6–0.9(–1.2) m tall; branches densely dark ferruginous scaly. Petiole 0.5–2(–3) mm, scaly; leaf blade elliptic, ovate or rounded, 0.35–0.9(–1.2) × (0.15–) 0.2–0.5(–0.6) cm; base broadly cuneate; apex acute or rounded, occasionally mucronulate; abaxial surface yellowish green to fawn, scales contiguous or nearly contiguous, 2-colored, pale golden and dark brown intermixed, usually either equal in number or paler scales predominating; adaxial surface dark green, densely scaly, gray-white or golden. Inflorescence 1–2-(–3)-flowered. Pedicel 0.05–0.15 cm, scaly, occasionally pubescent; calyx lobes (0.1–)2–4(–4.5) mm, oblong or narrowly lanceolate, scaly, margin ciliate and/or scaly; corolla broadly funnelform, pink, or lilac to purple, (0.7–)0.9–1.4(–1.6) cm, tube (2.5–)3–4(–6) mm, outer surface rarely scaly, often pubescent, throat pubescent; stamens (8–)10, longer or shorter than corolla, filaments villous towards base; ovary 1–2 mm, scaly; style usually longer than stamens. Capsule ovoid to rounded, 3–5 mm, scaly. Fl. May–Aug, fr. Aug–Sep.
Forest margins, Rhododendron thickets, alpine meadows, moorlands, swampy grassland, open bogs, damp places, open mountainsides, dry rocky slopes, screes, cliffs, ice gorges; 3100–5800 m. S Qinghai, W Sichuan, E and S Xizang, C and W Yunnan [Bhutan, Nepal, Sikkim].