Description from Flora of China
Shrubs, sometimes epiphytic on trees, 1.2–3 m tall; bark on old branches dark purple, smooth and peeling; young shoots sparsely scaly. Petiole grooved, 8–15 mm, sparsely scaly; leaf blade leathery, narrowly elliptic or oblong-lanceolate, 7–12 × 2.3–4.3 cm, acute at both ends; abaxial surface scales (2–)3–5 × their own diameter apart, brown or yellowish brown, most concave; adaxial surface sparsely scaly; lateral veins more than 10-paired, thin, inconspicuous on both surfaces. Inflorescence terminal, cymose, 4- or 5-flowered; rachis ca. 10 mm, sparsely scaly and densely pubescent. Flowers fragrant. Calyx slightly 5-lobed, densely scaly abaxially, margin glabrous; corolla broadly funnelform, 5-lobed to the middle, white with yellow markings inside, 4–5 cm, lobes rounded, spreading; stamens 10, unequal, long ones as long as or exserted from corolla; filaments pubescent below; ovary 6-locular, densely scaly; style longer than corolla, basal 1/4 scaly. Capsule cylindric-ovate, base oblique, 18–25 mm, densely scaly. Fl. Nov.
Cullen (Notes Roy. Bot. Gard. Edinburgh 39: 48. 1980) reduced this species to a synonym of Rhododendron dendricola.
Broad-leaved forests by rivers, sometimes epiphytic on trees; 1200–1600 m. Yunnan.