Description from Flora of China
Shrubs, 2–3 m tall; shoots 3–5 mm in diam. below inflorescence; young shoots glandular-setose and whitish floccose, soon glabrescent. Petiole 10–15 mm, glandular-setose and stellate-tomentose; leaf blade leathery, elliptic-lanceolate to oblong-lanceolate, 7–15 × 2–4 cm; base rounded; margin recurved; apex acuminate, apiculate; abaxial surface brownish, glabrous except for tomentose midrib, hairs folioliferous; adaxial surface green, glabrous; midrib conspicuously raised grooved; lateral veins 15–18-paired, slightly prominent abaxially. Inflorescence racemose-umbellate, 6–10-flowered; rachis 6–10 mm, fawn to rusty tomentose. Pedicel stout, 1–1.5 cm, stellate-tomentose and glandular-setulose; calyx lobes 5, small, broadly rounded, densely tomentose and glandular at base, margin glandular-ciliate; corolla tubular-campanulate, fleshy, crimson, 3.5–4 cm, with 5 black-crimson nectar-pouches at base; lobes 5, orbicular, 1.2–1.6 cm; stamens 10, unequal, 2–3 cm, filaments glabrous; ovary cylindric, ca. 6 mm, densely tomentose; style 2–2.5 cm, stellate-tomentose at base, stigma slightly swollen. Capsule slightly curved, 15–20 mm. Fl. Apr–May.
This distinctive species differs from the remaining members of this subsection in the indumentum, which is composed of folioliferous hairs, a feature that suggests a distant affinity with Rhododendron subsect. Maculifera. In the past it has been placed in the unispecific R. subsect. Venatora.
Forests, rocky valley slopes; 2400–2800 m. SE Xizang.