Kindly sponsored by
Peter Norris, enabling the use of The Rhododendron Handbook 1998
New article for Trees and Shrubs Online.
'Rhododendron bagobonum' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.
Small shrub to 0.6 m, usually epiphytic occasionally terrestrial on landslides; young stems, green, smooth but minutely covered in brown scales. Leaves 1.2-2 x 0.4-0.7 cm, narrowly obovate, the apex broadly acute, the margin flat and minutely crenulate, the base narrowly cuneate, the upper surface at first sparsely scaly, smooth, midrib slightly impressed above, disappearing before the apex, lateral veins not visible; lower surface with the midrib flat and distinct to the leaf tip, the scales, small, well spaced, brown, disc-shaped or deeply lobed. Flowers solitary or occasionally in pairs, held horizontally or diagonally angled downwards; calyx a low angled disc; corolla orange on opening becoming a rich glossy red with age, cylindrical, 1.4-2 x 0.6-1 cm, with a few pale scales on the tube; stamens 10, in a regular pattern of alternating long and short, curved towards the centre of the flower so that it self pollinates; ovary both scaly and hairy in the lower half, hairy only in the upper part, style glabrous. Royal Horticultural Society (1997)
Distribution Indonesia Kalimantan, Seram Malaysia Sabah, Sarawak Philippines
Habitat 1,200-1,900 m
RHS Hardiness Rating H2
Often confused with R. quadrasianum and its allies but apart from the different scale types R. bagobonum has the ovary longer than the style whereas in R. quadrasianum it is always much shorter. Surprisingly for its rather small flowers it is the parent of some spectacular hybrids. Royal Horticultural Society (1997)