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Rhododendron westlandii

Description from Flora of China

Rhododendron kaliense W. P. Fang & M. Y. He; R. linearicupulare P. C. Tam; R. moulmainense J. D. Hooker var. calcaratum G. Z. Li.

Erect shrubs or small trees, 3–5 m tall; branchlets stout, cylindric, pale gray-brown at maturity, red-brown when young, glabrous. Petioles stout, ca. 10 mm. Leaf blade thickly leathery, long-elliptic or subelliptic to oblong-lanceolate, 5–12(–21) × 2.5–5(–8) cm; base cuneate to rounded; apex acute or with a sickle-shaped acumen; both surfaces glabrous; lateral veins 14–18-paired, becoming conspicuous on both surfaces on drying. Inflorescence terminal, umbellate, 5–6-flowered; peduncle short and stout, ca. 5 mm, glabrous. Pedicel 1–1.5 cm, glabrous; calyx usually obscure, sometimes developed and then lobes membranous, linear, to 17 mm, pubescent, margin sparsely fimbriate-ciliate, apex obtuse or two-forked; corolla funnel-campanulate, white or pinkish to rose, with yellow flecks on upper part of inner surface of lobes, ca. 5 cm, tube ca. 15 mm; lobes obovate or ovate, ca. 3 cm; stamens 10, 3.5–4(–4.5) cm, filaments white-pubescent below middle; ovary tapering into style, ca. 8 mm, glabrous; style stout, slightly longer than stamens, glabrous. Capsule cylindric, sometimes with base curved through almost 90 degrees, 90–100 × ca. 5 mm. Fl. Apr–May, fr. Sep–Dec.

Gao Lianming (pers. comm.) notes that a wider circumscription of Rhododendron westlandii is used here than in FRPS (57(2): 355. 1994, where it was treated as a synonym of R. moulmainense). Recent herbarium studies indicate that the calyx characters that have been used to separate R. westlandii from R. kaliense and R. linearicupulare are very variable and cannot be reliably used to delimit species.

Dense forests, thickets, open areas by rivers, near rocks; 400–1500 m. Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, W Guizhou, Hainan, Jiangxi [N Vietnam].


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