Kindly sponsored by
Peter Norris, enabling the use of The Rhododendron Handbook 1998
New article for Trees and Shrubs Online.
'Rhododendron alticolum' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.
Small tree to 5 m, terrestrial; young stems smooth, green, at first covered with flat pale brown, star-shaped scales. Leaves 6-10 x 2.5-4.5 cm, obovate to elliptic, apex obtuse to rounded, the edge flat, the base broadly to narrowly tapering; upper surface smooth, the midrib, very slightly depressed, about 5-7 pairs of lateral veins distinct but not depressed, at first obscurely covered with a fine silvery covering of scales, quickly becoming glabrous; lower surface with raised midrib almost throughout its length, the laterals distinct but not raised, the indumentum of fine well spaced silvery, star-shaped scales which are small and rather inconspicuous. Flowers 1-5 in an umbel, half hanging to hanging; calyx an irregular 5-dented slightly scaly ring; corolla dark red, tubular-cylindrical, a little curved and slightly dilated distally, 5-6 x 2-3 cm, laxly scaly outside; stamens 10, grouped together on the upper side of the flower; ovary densely scaly, style scaly only at the base glabrous above. Royal Horticultural Society (1997)
Distribution Papua New Guinea Morobe and Central Districts
Habitat 2,200-3,600 m
RHS Hardiness Rating H2
Close to R. culminicolum but said to differ in having larger flowers and ovaries without simple hairs. One of the handsome bird pollinated species from the high mountains of New Guinea. Royal Horticultural Society (1997)