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Shrub or small tree, (0.5-)1.3-4m. Leaves 6-11 × 2-4cm, narrowly elliptic to elliptic, apex acute, lower surface usually with a dense spongy to matted (rarely sparse), one-layered tomentum that is composed of ramiform and at least some gland-tipped hairs, and is yellowish at first, maturing to a rich olive brown; petioles glabrescent or tomentose, with at least some stalked glands. Flowers 4-12, generally in a dense truss; calyx (4-)8-15mm, lobes oblong; corolla white flushed pink or pale pink, sometimes with purple flecks, campanulate, nectar pouches lacking, 30-45mm; ovary densely stalked-glandular, style usually glandular in the lower third. Flowering April-May. Royal Horticultural Society (1997)
Distribution China SE Tibet, W Yunnan, SW Sichuan
Habitat 3,000-4,250 m
Awards AM 1976 (R.N.S. Clarke, Borde Hill, Sussex) to R. adenophorum 'Kirsty'; flowers white, lip and reverse suffused red-purple and spotted.
Conservation status Not evaluated (NE)
Taxonomic note Including R. adenophorum Balf.f. & W.W.Sm. There is a complete range of intermediates between those plants with a more strongly glandular leaf indumentum, that have been called R. adenophorum, and those that essentially lack glands, as in R. adenogynum. The two are therefore not maintained as separate species. Royal Horticultural Society (1997)
An evergreen shrub said to grow 9 ft high in the wild, with the stout young shoots woolly at first, becoming glabrous. Leaves with decurved margins, oblong inclined to ovate, pointed, tapered, or rounded at the base, 2 to 6 in. long, 3⁄4 to 13⁄4 in. wide, dark green, finely wrinkled, and at maturity glabrous above, covered beneath with a tawny, suede-like felt; stalk without glands, 1⁄2 to 11⁄4 in. long. Flowers opening in April and May in trusses of six to twelve, fragrant. Calyx-lobes five, oval, 3⁄16 to 3⁄8 in. long, very glandular; flower-stalk up to 11⁄4 in. long, glandular. Corolla white, tinged with pink or rose-magenta, spotted with crimson, bell-shaped, 11⁄2 to 21⁄2 in. long, 2 to 3 in. wide, the five lobes rounded. Stamens ten, 1⁄2 to 11⁄4 in. long, stalks white, downy at the base. Ovary glandular but not downy; style 11⁄3 in. long, very glandular towards the base. Bot. Mag., t. 9253. (s. Taliense ss. Adenogynum)
R. adenogynum was discovered by Forrest in 1906 in N. W. Yunnan, on the eastern flank of the Lichiang range, at altitudes of 11,000 to 12,000 ft and introduced by him four years later. As he originally found it, it was scattered in small clumps over grassy mountain slopes, and occurs in similar situations on the neighbouring Chungtien plateau and in bordering parts of S.W. Szechwan. Although one of the more decorative of the Taliense series, and flowering when quite young, it is rarely seen outside specialist collections. It is quite hardy.