Description from Flora of China
Rhododendron fortunei subsp. discolor (Franchet) D. F. Chamberlain; R. fortunei var. houlstonii (Hemsley & E. H. Wilson) Rehder & E. H. Wilson; R. fortunei var. kwangfuense (Chun & W. P. Fang) G. Z. Li; R. houlstonii Hemsley & E. H. Wilson; R. kwangfuense Chun & W. P. Fang; R. mandarinorum Diels.
Shrubs or small trees, 1.5–8 m tall; branchlets stout, glabrous. Petiole stout, 15–25 mm, glabrous; leaf blade leathery, oblong-elliptic or oblong-lanceolate, 9.5–18 × 2.4–5.4 cm, or broader; base cuneate, rarely cordate; apex obtuse; both surfaces glabrous; abaxial surface pale yellowish green; adaxial surface dark green; midrib raised abaxially, grooved adaxially; lateral veins ca. 21-paired, obscure abaxially, impressed adaxially. Inflorescence 6–8(–10)-flowered; rachis 15–30 mm, glandular. Pedicel 2–2.5 cm, glabrous or sparsely glandular; calyx lobes 7, 2–5 mm, ovate, glandular, margin gland-fringed; corolla funnel-campanulate, pale pink to white, ca. 5.5 cm, lobes 7, suborbicular, ca. 2 × 2.5 cm, emarginate; stamens 14–16, unequal, 3–3.8 cm, filaments glabrous; ovary conoid, ca. 7 mm, densely glandular-hairy; style glandular to tip. Capsule cylindric, 40–50 × ca. 15 mm. Fl. Jun–Jul, fr. Sep–Oct.
Rhododendron discolor intergrades with R. fortunei, and can reliably be separated from that species only by the proportionately narrower leaves.
Forests; 900–1900 m. Anhui, Chongqing, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi, Shaanxi, Sichuan, Yunnan, Zhejiang.