Large shrub or small tree, 1.5–10 m; bark smooth and flaking, reddish brown; young shoots and petioles with long stiff bristles. Leaves 8–13 × 2.7–4 cm, elliptic to obovate-lanceolate, apex acute to slightly rounded, base rounded to cordate, upper surface with deeply impressed veins, lower surface with a thin layer of pale brown dendroid hairs that may become whitish with age. Flowers fleshy, 15–20, in a dense truss, scarlet to crimson, with darker nectar pouches, tubular-campanulate, 30–45 mm; ovary densely stalked-glandular, also with some hairs, style glabrous. Royal Horticultural Society (1997).
Distribution Bhutan China S Tibet India Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh
Habitat 2,700–3,600 m
RHS Hardiness Rating H4
Awards AM 1978 (R.N.S. Clarke, Borde Hill, Sussex) to a clone R. smithii 'Fleurie'; trusses to 25-flowered, corolla red.
Conservation status Least concern (LC)
R. argipeplum is intermediate between the more easterly R. erosum and the more westerly R. barbatum, but is sufficiently distinct from either to be maintained as a separate species. Royal Horticultural Society (1997)