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Rhododendron Linn.

杜鹃花属

Description from Flora of China

Shrubs or trees, terrestrial or epiphytic, with various hairs, and/or with peltate scales or glabrous, indumentum sometimes detersile (the hairs tangled and coming away as a layer). Leaves evergreen, deciduous or semideciduous, alternate, sometimes clustered at stem apex; margin entire, very rarely crenulate, abaxial indumentum sometimes with a pellicle (a thin skinlike layer on the surface). Inflorescence a raceme or corymb, mostly terminal, sometimes lateral, few- to many-flowered, sometimes reduced to a single flower. Calyx persistent, 5–8-lobed, sometimes reduced to a rim, lobes minute and triangular to large and conspicuous. Corolla funnelform, campanulate, tubular, rotate or hypocrateriform, regular or slightly zygomorphic, 5(–8)-lobed, lobes imbricate in bud. Stamens 5–10(–27), inserted at base of corolla, usually declinate; filaments linear to filiform, glabrous or pilose towards base; anthers without appendages, opening by terminal or oblique pores. Disk usually thick, 5–10(–14)-lobed. Ovary 5(–18)-locular, with hairs and/or scales, rarely glabrous. Style straight or declinate to deflexed, persistent; stigma capitate-discoid, crenate to lobed. Capsule cylindrical, coniform, or ovoid, sometimes curved, dehiscent from top, septicidal; valves thick or thin, straight or twisted. Seeds very numerous, minute, fusiform, always winged, or both ends with appendages or thread-like tails.

About 1000 species: Asia, Europe, North America, two species in Australia; 571 species (409 endemic) in China.

(Authors: Fang Mingyuan (方明渊), Fang Ruizheng (方瑞征 Fang Rhui-cheng), He Mingyou (何明友), Hu Linzhen (胡琳贞 Hu Ling-cheng), Yang Hanbi (杨汉碧 Yang Han-pi); David F. Chamberlain)

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