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Chinese Plant Names | Family List | Ericaceae | Rhododendron

Rhododendron sargentianum Rehd. et Wils.


Description from Flora of China

Small shrubs, usually prostrate, 0.3–0.6 m tall; branchlets short, twiggy; young shoots densely scaly; bud scales persistent. Petiole 2–4 mm; leaf blade aromatic, elliptic, broadly elliptic, or ovate, 0.8–1.6(–2) × 0.3–0.8(–1.1) cm; base rounded or broadly cuneate; apex rounded, mucronate; abaxial surface pale brown, scales overlapping, long-stalked, lacerate, arranged in 2–3 tiers, those of lowermost tier golden, paler than the rest; adaxial surface dark green, shiny, scaly when young, glabrescent. Inflorescence 5–7(–12)-flowered. Pedicel 0.2–0.8 cm; calyx lobes (2–) 3–4(–6) mm, oblong to obovate, persisting to enclose mature capsule, scaly, margin strap-shaped-ciliate; corolla narrowly tubular, whitish yellow, 1–1.6 cm, tube 6–9 mm; outer surface scaly on tube and at bases of lobes, inner surface densely pilose; stamens 5, included in corolla tube, filaments glabrous; ovary 1–1.5 mm, scaly; style thick, straight, nearly as long as ovary, glabrous. Capsule ovoid, ca. 4 mm, scaly. Fl. May–Jul, fr. Oct.

Rhododendron praeclarum I. B. Balfour & Farrer (Notes Roy. Bot. Gard. Edinburgh 9: 261. 1916), from Gansu (Min Shan), is described as having bright yellow (“flava”) flowers. It differs from R. sargentianum, the yellow-flowered species to which it is most closely allied, as the calyx lobes are fringed with scales, not loriform ciliae. Cullen (Notes Roy. Bot. Gard. Edinburgh 38: 167. 1980) considered that R. praeclarum was almost indistinguishable from R. primuliflorum, but noted that the type locality is disjunct. If the flower color is correct then this affinity seems unlikely.

Cliffs, exposed rocks; 3000–4300 m. C and W Sichuan.


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