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Peter Norris, enabling the use of The Rhododendron Handbook 1998
New article for Trees and Shrubs Online.
'Rhododendron excellens' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.
Shrub, to at least 3 m; young shoots scaly. Leaves 15–19 × 4–5.5 cm, oblong-elliptic, apex obtuse, margin not ciliate, upper surface with raised midrib, lower surface glaucous, with the scales their own diameter apart. Flowers 3–4, in a loose inflorescence; calyx conspicuous, lobes 5–15 mm, glabrous; corolla white to cream, funnel-campanulate, 100–110 mm, outer surface scaly; stamens 10(–15); ovary densely scaly, tapering into the style which is scaly at base. Flowering May. Royal Horticultural Society (1997).
Distribution China S Yunnan, Guizhou Vietnam N
Habitat 1,800–2,500 m
RHS Hardiness Rating H3
Conservation status Vulnerable (VU)
While plants in cultivation and herbarium specimens recently collected in Vietnam generally have 10–11 stamens, the type has 15, suggesting an affinity with R. maddenii. Vegetatively there is a similarity with R. nuttallii, with which it grows in the wild, but the leaves are narrower than those of the latter species. Royal Horticultural Society (1997).