497. Rhododendron rubropilosum Hayata, J. Coll. Sci. Imp. Univ. Tokyo. 30(1): 173. 1911.
台红毛杜鹃 tai hong mao du juan
Rhododendron caryophyllum Hayata.
Shrubs, up to 3 m tall; young shoots slender, densely coarsely red-brown strigose, hairs flat. Leaves all similar. Petiole 2–6 mm, indumentum as for shoots; leaf blade oblong-lanceolate, 1.5–4.5 × 0.5–1.9 cm; base cuneate; margin entire and slightly revolute; apex acute and mucronate; both surfaces densely yellowish brown silky strigose when young. Inflorescence 2–4-flowered. Pedicel ca. 0.6 cm, coarsely yellowish brown silky strigose; calyx lobes oblong, 1.5–4 mm, coarsely yellowish brown silky strigose; corolla broadly funnelform, pink, with darker pink flecks within, to 2.5 cm wide; tube ca. 10 mm; lobes spreading, oblong, ca. 1.7 × 0.7 cm; stamens 7 or 10, unequal, some longer than corolla, filaments linear, sparsely pubescent at base; ovary ovoid, densely coarsely yellowish brown strigose; style ca. 2 cm, longer than stamens, hairy near base. Capsules conical-ovoid, 5–7 × ca. 4 mm, densely coarsely brown strigose. Fl. Jul, fr. Aug–Oct.
Mountain forests; 1000–3300 m. C Taiwan.
Rhododendron rubropilosum var. grandiflorum T. Yamazaki (Revis. Gen. Rhododendron Japan, Taiwan, Korea & Sakhalin, 36. 1996) is said to differ from var. rubropilosum in having the leaf blade 3–5 cm, corolla 3–3.5 cm wide, and stamens 5 or 6. The type is a cultivated specimen raised from material collected in Nantou County, Taiwan. The number of stamens suggests an affinity with R. breviperulatum, rather than with R. rubropilosum. Furthermore, it is not known whether any plants in the wild possess these larger flowers and leaves. Therefore, the status and affinities of var. grandiflorum remain uncertain.