Kindly sponsored by
Peter Norris, enabling the use of The Rhododendron Handbook 1998
New article for Trees and Shrubs Online.
'Rhododendron leptanthum' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.
A small bush or straggling shrub reported up to 3 m but rarely more than 1 m high; young stems at first rough with dark brown dendroid scales which easily detach. Leaves, 3-6.5 x 2-3.5 cm ovate or oblong-ovate, the apex broadly and bluntly pointed, the margin flat or slightly revolute, the base rounded to cordate; the upper surface smooth, at first silvery scaly but quickly becoming glabrous, midrib impressed, three to four pairs of laterals somewhat impressed and the reticulation distinct; lower surface moderately densely covered in the rusty brown dendroid scales of different sizes and each mounted on a small white tubercle which remains after the scales have gone, midrib raised and distinct throughout its length the laterals slightly raised but less prominent than on the upper side. Flowers 2-5 per umbel, hanging; calyx a low scaly ring; corolla pink, shortly cylindrical with a curved tube and rather large lobes, 2.5-3.5 x 3.5-4 cm, with rather inconspicuous brown scales on the tube and lobes outside; ovary densely stellate-scaly, style stellate-scaly almost to the top. Royal Horticultural Society (1997)
Distribution Papua New Guinea East: from Morobe Province to Milne Bay Province
Habitat 1,300-2,300 m
RHS Hardiness Rating H2
Conservation status Least concern (LC)
This lovely and easily grown species now includes R. warianum Schltr. Various forms are in cultivation, some of them very compact which makes them excellent pot plants. Royal Horticultural Society (1997)