Shrub, 0.5–2 m; young shoots scaly, otherwise glabrous. Leaves 3.5–6 × 1.8–3.2 cm, ovate to elliptic, apex acute to acuminate, upper surface scaly, hairy along midrib; lower surface covered with touching broad-rimmed scales that are golden and brown. Flowers 2–4, in a loose terminal inflorescence; calyx minute, ciliate; corolla rich reddish purple, rarely pale, zygomorphic, funnel-campanulate, 20–30 mm, outer surface of tube scaly, otherwise glabrous; stamens 10; ovary scaly, sometimes minutely pubescent at apex, impressed below the decimate style that is glabrous or puberulent. Flowering April-May. Royal Horticultural Society (1997).
Distribution China Sichuan, Hubei, Guizhou
Habitat 2,300–4,500 m
RHS Hardiness Rating H5
Awards AM 1951 (RHS Garden, Wisley) as R. pseudoyanthinum; flowers Lilac Purple. AGM 1993 as R. concinnum Pseudoyanthinum Group.
Conservation status Least concern (LC)
An evergreen shrub or small tree up to 15 ft high; young shoots scaly. Leaves scattered along the branches, aromatic, elliptic or oblong-elliptic or broadest slightly above or below the middle, apex varying from obtuse to acute or acuminate, base rounded or broadly tapered, I to 31⁄2 in. long, 1⁄2 to 13⁄8 in. wide, dark green or glaucous green and scaly above, pale brown to dark brown beneath from the densely arranged scales; stalk up to 3⁄8 in. long. Flowers in terminal trusses of two to eight, opening in May. Calyx very variable, reduced to a rim or with five rounded or pointed lobes, scaly at least on the margin, sometimes fringed with hairs. Corolla five-lobed, widely funnel-shaped, coloured in some shade of purple or reddish purple, occasionally white, usually spotted with brown or crimson, scaly on the outside, rarely without scales, glabrous or slightly hairy towards the base. Stamens ten, hairy at the base. Ovary densely scaly; style glabrous or slightly hairy at the base. Bot. Mag., tt. 8280, 8912. (s. Triflorum ss. Yunnanense)
Native of W. Szechwan; discovered by the Rev. Ernst Faber on Mt Omei; introduced by Wilson in 1904. It is a variable species in leaf-shape, calyx, colour of flowers, etc. It is perfectly hardy but now little cultivated except for the variety previously known as R. pseudoyanthinum (see below). The following varieties are recognised by Davidian in his revision of the Triflorum series:
The two varieties mentioned on page 638 are not recognised by Dr Cullen. Only the second is horticulturally important and could be distinguished as R. concinnum Pseudoyanthinum group.
R. harrovianum Hemsl
R. benthamianum Hemsl
R. pseudoyanthinum Hutch