Description from Flora of China
Rhododendron chamaetortum I. B. Balfour & Kingdon Ward.
Semiprostrate or semidecumbent shrubs, often contorted, rarely erect, 0.3–0.6(–1.5) m tall; branchlets short, thick, scaly; bud scales persistent, conspicuous, linear to lanceolate. Petiole ca. 3 mm, scaly; leaf blade aromatic, oblong-elliptic or oblong-ovate, 1–3.5 × 0.5–1.6 cm; base rounded; apex obtuse or rounded, mucronate; abaxial surface scales overlapping, arranged in 2–3 tiers, unequal, pale yellow-brown or reddish brown; adaxial surface dark green, shiny, glabrous. Inflorescence 5–10-flowered. Pedicel 0.2–0.5 cm, scaly; calyx lobes 4–7 mm, oblong or ovate, persisting to enclose mature capsule, scaly, margin long-ciliate; corolla narrowly tubular, with spreading lobes, white, pink, to rose, (0.8–)1.2–1.5(–2) cm, tube 6.5–13 mm, outer surface not scaly; inner surface densely pilose; stamens 5(–8), included in corolla tube, filaments puberulous towards base; ovary 1–2 mm, densely scaly; style thick, turbinate, nearly as long as ovary. Capsule ovoid, 3–4 mm, densely scaly. Fl. May–Jul, fr. Sep–Nov.
Rhododendron thickets, moorlands, rocky slopes; (3000–)3800–4400(–4600) m. S Qinghai, NW Sichuan, S Xizang, C and N Yunnan [NE India, Myanmar].