Shrub, to 2 m; young shoots densely covered with setae that are soon deciduous; vegetative bud scales broad and conspicuous. Leaves 5–5.5 × 2–2.5 cm, obovate, apex obtuse, margin ciliate when young, more or less crenate above, upper surface with impressed midrib, lower surface with overlapping or touching scales. Flowers 4–6(–10), in a terminal inflorescence, scented; calyx disc-like; corolla greenish yellow, funnel-campanulate, 30–35 mm, outer surface scaly throughout, pilose below; stamens 10; ovary densely scaly, impressed below the style that is scaly below. Flowering March-April. Royal Horticultural Society (1997)
Distribution Myanmar Mt Victoria
Habitat 2,700–2,900 m
RHS Hardiness Rating H3
Awards AM 1980 (Mrs E. Mackenzie, Fressingfield, Norfolk) to a clone 'Elizabeth David'; trusses 4-flowered; corolla campanulate, yellow within, outer corolla a deeper shade of yellow. AGM 1993
Conservation status Least concern (LC)
Taxonomic note A distinctive species, with characteristic vegetative buds, and with a restricted distribution. Royal Horticultural Society (1997)
An evergreen shrub usually under 6 ft high and often dwarf in the wild; young stems scaly and slightly bristly. Leaves oblanceolate to obovate, abruptly narrowed to a mucronate tip, tapered at the base, densely scaly on both sides, the scales less than their own diameter apart or even overlapping, undersurface green between the scales; petioles up to 3⁄8 in. long, scaly and edged with erect hairs. Flowers fragrant, borne in terminal trusses of five or six on scaly stalks up to 7⁄8 in. long. Calyx minute, fringed with bristles. Corolla five-lobed, narrowly funnel-campanulate, 11⁄2 to 2 in. long, yellow, greenish yellow or greenish white, scaly on the outside. Stamens ten, hairy in the lower part. Ovary densely scaly; style scaly. (s. Maddenii ss. Ciliicalyx)
Native of Mt Victoria, a mountain just over 10,000 ft high in the Southern Chin Hills, south-west Burma. It was discovered there by Lady Wheeler Cuffe and introduced by her to the Glasnevin Botanic Garden, where it first flowered in May 1914. Although not hardy enough for cultivation outdoors near London, it succeeds in several gardens on the west coast of Scotland.
R. pachypodum – See R. ciliicalyx in this supplement.