Tree, to 5 m; young shoots covered with dense white hairs, later glabrescent. Leaves in whorls of up to three, at the ends of the branches, 4–9 × 3–9 cm, ovate-rhombic, apex acuminate, lower surface with adpressed brown pubescent hairs, especially on the midrib; petioles densely adpressed-brown-pubescent. Pedicels densely pubescent. Flowers solitary or up to 3 per inflorescence, appearing before the leaves; calyx minute; corolla reddish orange, upper lobe with darker flecks, open-campanulate, 25–40 mm; ovary densely brown-pubescent, style with white pubescent hairs at base. Flowering June-July. Royal Horticultural Society (1997).
Distribution Japan Hondo, Idzu Peninsula
RHS Hardiness Rating H4
Awards AM 1948 (Lord Aberconway, Bodnant); flowers French Rose, suffused Neyron Rose, spotted red.
Conservation status Endangered (EN)
This very local species is closely allied to and possibly no more than a variant of R. sanctum. The chief difference between the two species is in the flower colour. Royal Horticultural Society (1997)