Rhododendron flavidum Franch.

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Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles

Recommended citation
'Rhododendron flavidum' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/rhododendron/rhododendron-flavidum/). Accessed 2024-05-27.



  • Rhododendron primulinum Hemsl.
  • Rhododendron psilostylum Balf. f.


Other taxa in genus


(pl. calyces) Outer whorl of the perianth. Composed of several sepals.
The inner whorl of the perianth. Composed of free or united petals often showy.
Plant originating from the cross-fertilisation of genetically distinct individuals (e.g. two species or two subspecies).
Egg-shaped; broadest towards the stem.
(syn.) (botanical) An alternative or former name for a taxon usually considered to be invalid (often given in brackets). Synonyms arise when a taxon has been described more than once (the prior name usually being the one accepted as correct) or if an article of the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature has been contravened requiring the publishing of a new name. Developments in taxonomic thought may be reflected in an increasing list of synonyms as generic or specific concepts change over time.
(var.) Taxonomic rank (varietas) grouping variants of a species with relatively minor differentiation in a few characters but occurring as recognisable populations. Often loosely used for rare minor variants more usefully ranked as forms.


Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles

Recommended citation
'Rhododendron flavidum' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/rhododendron/rhododendron-flavidum/). Accessed 2024-05-27.

Erect shrub, to 2.5 m. Leaves 0.7–1.5 × 0.3–0.7 cm, broadly elliptic to oblong, apex rounded, shortly mucronate, lower surface with brown to dark brown scales that are 0.5–2× their own diameter apart. Flowers 1–3 per inflorescence; calyx 2–4(–7) mm, lobes strap-shaped or deltoid; corolla yellow, broadly funnel-shaped, pubescent outside and inside, scaly outside, 12–18 mm; stamens 8–10, as long as corolla; ovary scaly, style longer than stamens, pubescent towards the base. Flowering April-May. Royal Horticultural Society (1997)

Distribution  China NW Sichuan

Habitat 3,000–4,000 m

RHS Hardiness Rating H6

Conservation status Vulnerable (VU)

An evergreen shrub about 2 ft high, of rounded, bushy habit, branches densely scaly. Leaves leathery, ovate-oblong, 12 to 1 in. long, 14 to 38 in. wide; rounded at the base, dark green above, paler beneath, scaly on both surfaces; stalk 16 in. long. Flowers 1 to 114 in. across, primrose-yellow, becoming paler with age, produced during April in a terminal cluster of three to six. Corolla with a very short, rather downy tube, and flat, spreading, rounded lobes, wavy at the margins. Calyx pale green, the five lobes oblong, 14 in. long, covered like the flower-stalk (which is 18 in. long) with transparent yellowish scales. Bot. Mag., t. 8326. (s. Lapponicum)

Native of W. Szechwan, China; introduced to cultivation by Wilson for Messrs Veitch in 1905. This delightful little species is very distinct through the clear pale yellow of its flowers, and is a valuable acquisition for the rock garden or some place where dainty little plants can grow without danger of being overrun by stronger neighbours. The leaves when crushed have a pleasant, aromatic odour.

The plant known in gardens as R. flavidum album is very distinct in its taller growth, larger leaves and larger, white flowers. Probably a hybrid. In cultivation by 1925.

From the Supplement (Vol. V)

R. psilostylum, given as a synonym, is recognised as a variety – var. psilostylum Rehd. & Wils. (R. psilostylum (Rehd. & Wils.) Balf.f.). It is known from a single collection and is not in cultivation.

var. psilostylum Rehder & E.H.Wilson

Differs from var. flavidum in having leaf scales of two kinds, some dark, the rest golden, is probably not in cultivation.