Kindly sponsored by
Peter Norris, enabling the use of The Rhododendron Handbook 1998
New article for Trees and Shrubs Online.
'Rhododendron buxifolium' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.
Shrub or tree to 10 m, terrestrial, young stems covered in brown scales and very finely hairy. Leaves 1.3-3.7 x 0.6-2.8 cm, almost circular to broadly elliptic, the apex obtuse, rounded or retuse, the margin slightly recurved, crenulate, the base cordate, rounded or broadly tapering; upper side sparsely scaly with the small scales sunk into pits, the midrib slightly impressed, lateral veins 3-5 pairs, inconspicuous; lower surface with the midrib raised, lateral veins very slightly or not raised, the scales small and rather sparse, circular to irregular, with relatively large cushion-like centres and a narrow flange. Flowers 5-10 per umbel, more or less horizontally held; calyx a low scaly ring; corolla red, strongly honey-scented, funnel shaped to almost campanulate, 2-2.6 x 3-4 cm, finely golden scaly outside; stamens 10, arranged evenly around the mouth of the flower; ovary densely scaly, style scaly at the base, glabrous above.
Distribution Malaysia Borneo, Sabah, Mt Kinabalu endemic
Habitat 3,100-3,900 m
RHS Hardiness Rating H2
Conservation status Vulnerable (VU)
One of the most magnificent sights of Kinabalu when in flower but it tends to be slow and feeble in cultivation with the flowers smaller and less rich in colour. It is anomalous as to subsection combining characters from Pseudovireya with those of Vireya. Royal Horticultural Society (1997)