Description from Flora of China
Rhododendron artosquameum I. B. Balfour & Forrest; R. cardioeides I. B. Balfour & Forrest; R. depile I. B. Balfour & Forrest; R. exquisitum Hutchinson (1932), not T. L. Ming (1981); R. hypotrichotum I. B. Balfour & Forrest; R. phaeochlorum I. B. Balfour & Forrest; R. pubigerum I. B. Balfour & Forrest; R. siderophylloides Hutchinson; R. timeteum I. B. Balfour & Forrest; R. trichopodum I. B. Balfour & Forrest.
Shrubs, 1–4 m tall; young shoots deep purplish red, sparsely scaly, otherwise glabrous or pubescent. Petiole pinkish purple, 7–13 mm, sparsely scaly, sometimes pubescent; leaf blade elliptic, oblong or ovate, 1.8–6 × 1.4–3.5 cm; base rounded to cordate, rarely broadly cuneate; apex obtuse or rounded, apiculate; abaxial surface pinkish green or green, scales contiguous, or less than (rarely more than) their own diameter apart, all similar, yellowish brown or brown; adaxial surface without scales. Inflorescence terminal or subterminal, shortly racemose, 3–5(–10)-flowered; rachis 1–8 mm. Pedicel purplish red, 0.5–2 cm, sparsely scaly; calyx undulately 5-lobed or annular, ca. 1.5 mm; corolla broadly funnelform-campanulate, 5-lobed to the middle, pale purple or pale red or deep purplish red, 1.8–3 cm, outer surface glabrous, lobes ovate; stamens unequal, long ones as long as or slightly longer than corolla; filaments spreading-pubescent below; ovary 5-locular, densely scaly; style glabrous. Capsule cylindric, 8–13 mm. Fl. May–Jul.
Evergreen-deciduous mixed forests, Abies or Larix forest margins, Quercus-Rhododendron thickets; (2100–)3000–3700 m. SW Sichuan, SE Xizang, N Yunnan [Myanmar].