Kindly sponsored by
Peter Norris, enabling the use of The Rhododendron Handbook 1998
New article for Trees and Shrubs Online.
'Rhododendron lowii' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.
Shrub up to 10 m, terrestrial; young stems, green covered in brown lobed scales. Leaves 10–20 × 4.5–10 cm, broadly elliptic to ovate or slightly obovate, the apex obtuse to rounded or sometimes shortly acuminate, the margin entire, flat, sometimes somewhat wavy, the base broadly rounded to cordate; upper surface at first brown-scaly, quickly glabrescent, with the midrib strongly raised in the lower half, lateral veins 9–15 pairs not raised; lower surface with the veins not or hardly raised at all, scales rather widely spaced, lobed to substellate, with small centres. Flowers 8–15 per umbel, erect to horizontal; calyx a low scaly ring; corolla yellow to orange, often delicately scented, broadly funnel-shaped, 6–11 × 7–8 cm, glabrous outside; stamens 10, usually all on the lower side of the mouth; ovary hairy and inconspicuously scaly, style glabrous. Royal Horticultural Society (1997)
Distribution Malaysia Sabah (Mt Kinabalu, Trus Madi and possibly Monkobo)
Habitat 2,700–3,650 m
RHS Hardiness Rating H2
Conservation status Least concern (LC)
One of Kinabalu’s most remarkable plants which never fails to impress people with its enormous trusses of flowers produced throughout the year often on long vigorous unbranched canes which may be 6 m in length. In cultivation it is very different being slow and often rather contorted and rather shy to flower. Royal Horticultural Society (1997)