Kindly sponsored by
Peter Norris, enabling the use of The Rhododendron Handbook 1998
New article for Trees and Shrubs Online.
'Rhododendron inconspicuum' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.
Shrubs to 3 m or more rarely trees to 10 m, mostly terrestrial; young stems densely covered with scurfy brown scales some of these from epidermal tubercles. Leaves 1.5-2.5 x 0.8-1.7 cm, ovate to elliptic or broadly elliptic, the apex obtuse to rounded, the margin entire and flat, the base broadly tapering to rounded; the upper surface at first silvery-scaly, quickly glabrescent, midrib slightly impressed, lateral veins 3-6 pairs very slightly impressed; lower surface with the midrib slightly raised, lateral veins not raised but quite distinct in being darker in colour than the surrounding tissue, scales pale silvery brown rounded to deeply lobed and with small centres and each impressed in a low pit. Flowers in 1-7 flowered umbels, horizontal to half-hanging; calyx a densely scaly lobed disc; corolla pink to red, campanulate or shortly cylindrical, 1.3-1.8 x 0.8-1.7 cm, quite densely pale brown-scaly outside; stamens 10, spreading all round the mouth of the flower; ovary densely silvery scaly, the scales stopping rather abruptly at the junction with the glabrous style. Royal Horticultural Society (1997)
Distribution Indonesia Widespread throughout the highlands of New Guinea Papua New Guinea
Habitat 1,800-3,400 m
RHS Hardiness Rating H2
Conservation status Least concern (LC)
Often confused with R. yelliotii Warburg a species which is generally much more difficult to cultivate but the flowers of that species are usually darker in colour, the scales on the undersides of the leaves denser (usually touching each other) and the flower buds are scaly and minutely hairy (in this species they are glabrous or scaly only). Royal Horticultural Society (1997)