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Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles
'Rhododendron eriogynum' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.
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RHS Hardiness Rating H5
Conservation status Least concern (LC)
An evergreen shrub up to 10 ft high; young shoots soon glabrous. Leaves oblong-elliptic or oblanceolate, the apex pointed or rounded; 4 to 8 in. long, 11⁄4 to 3 in. wide, ultimately glabrous on both surfaces, glittering beneath; with a thin transparent marginal line; stalk 1⁄2 to 11⁄4 in. long. Flowers in a truss of twelve to sixteen, opening in June. Calyx 1⁄5 in. long, fleshy, reddish, the lobes wavy. Corolla bell-shaped, 13⁄4 in. deep, 2 in. wide, clear bright red with five deep purple pouches at the base, five-lobed. Stamens ten, 1 in. or more long, downy at the lower third or half. Ovary densely covered with tawny, starry down, which extends more thinly up the style. Bot. Mag., t. 9337. (s. Irroratum ss. Parishii)
R. eriogynum was discovered by Forrest in the Tali range, Yunnan, in 1914, and was introduced by him in the same year. All the cultivated plants derive from this one sending (F.13508). This beautiful species has flowered in gardens south of London and has attained 15 ft at Wakehurst Place in Sussex. Like its allies (see R. elliottii and R. kyawii) it flowers and comes into growth late in the season and is the parent of many late-flowering hybrids, such as Romany Chal and the incomparable Tally Ho.
Award of Merit June 24, 1924, when shown by T. H. Lowinsky of Sunninghill, Berks.
This species was given the main heading because plants under its name are commoner than those grown as R. facetum, mentioned under it. Understandably, the two species have been merged in the Edinburgh revision, but under the name R. facetum. The two species were described originally in the same issue of the Edinburgh Notes, and R. eriogynum could have been chosen as the name for the combined species, even though R. facetum has page-priority.