506. Rhododendron x pulchrum , Brit. Fl. Gard. ser. 2, 2: t. 117. 1831.
锦绣杜鹃 jin xiu du juan
Rhododendron indicum (Linnaeus) Sweet var. pulchrum (Sweet) G. Don; R. indicum var. smithii Sweet; R. phoeniceum G. Don f. smithii (Sweet) E. H. Wilson.
Shrubs, semievergreen, 1.5–2.5 tall; branches coarsely pale brown strigose. Petiole 3–6 mm, densely appressed setose; leaf blade thinly leathery, elliptic-oblong to elliptic-lanceolate or oblong-oblanceolate, 2–5(–7) × 1–2.5 cm; base cuneate; margin revolute and entire; apex obtuse. Inflorescence 1–5-flowered. Pedicel 0.8–1.5 cm, densely yellowish brown villous; calyx deeply lobed; lobes lanceolate, large, ca. 1.2 cm, coarsely strigose; corolla broadly funnelform, rose-purple, with dark red flecks, 4.8–5.2 × ca. 6 cm; lobes broadly ovate, ca. 3.3 cm; stamens 10, subequal, 3.5–4 cm, filaments linear, pubescent below; ovary ovoid, ca. 3 × 2 mm, densely coarsely yellow-brown appressed setose; style ca. 5 cm, as long as or slightly longer than corolla, glabrous. Capsule oblong-ovoid, 8–10 mm, coarsely setose-strigose, calyx persistent. Fl. Apr–May, fr. Sep–Oct.
Cultivated. Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Zhejiang.
The name Rhododendron ×pulchrum applies to cultivated plants. It is said that the species originated in China, but it is unknown in the wild. According to Sweet, in the protologue, it is a horticultural hybrid derived from “R. ledifolium, of Hooker, impregnated by the pollen of the Old Red R. indicum.”