Kindly sponsored by
Peter Norris, enabling the use of The Rhododendron Handbook 1998
Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles
'Rhododendron longesquamatum' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.
Shrub, 3-4 m; young shoots and petioles densely rufous tomentose. Leaves 6-11 x 2-3.5 cm, elliptic to oblanceolate, apex shortly cuspidate, upper surface shortly stalked-glandular and rufous-tomentose when young; lower surface ultimately with lamina glabrous though with a rufous tomentum composed of flagellate hairs covering the midrib. Flowers 4-6, in a lax truss; calyx 6-10 mm, lobes lingulate; corolla rose-pink, with a basal blotch, open-campanulate, without nectar pouches, 40-45 mm; ovary and lower half of style stalked-glandular. Flowering May. Royal Horticultural Society (1997)
Distribution China Sichuan, Guizhou
Habitat 2,300-3,350 m
RHS Hardiness Rating H5
Conservation status Near threatened (NT)
Taxonomic note A distinctive species without close allies. Royal Horticultural Society (1997)
An evergreen bush up to 12 ft or so high; young shoots stout, clothed thickly with brown, shaggy, branched hairs, and long, dark bud-scales, which persist for two or more seasons. Leaves oblong, inclined to obovate, pointed at the apex, rounded or slightly heart-shaped at the base, 21⁄2 to 5 in. long, 1 to 13⁄4 in. wide, dark green and glabrous except for the midrib, which is shaggy beneath like the young shoots and leaf-stalks – the latter about 1⁄2 in. long; underside of blade dotted with pustule-like glands. Flowers opening in May, ten or more in a truss on stalks up to 1 in. or slightly more long. Calyx-lobes 1⁄2 in. long, glandular, and hairy. Corolla bell-shaped, about 2 in. across, white or pink, with a dark red blotch. Stamens ten, downy at the base. Ovary densely glandular; style glandular at the base. Bot. Mag., t. 9430. (s. Barbatum ss. Maculiferum)
Native of W. Szechwan at 9,000 to 11,000 ft; discovered by Wilson and introduced by him in 1904. It is a very hardy and free-flowering species, remarkable for the stout, shaggy young shoots and the large, petaloid calyx. In a letter to Kew, F. R. S. Balfour of Dawyck remarked that garden warblers often build their nests among its hairy twigs and leaves.