Rhododendron moupinense Franch.

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Peter Norris, enabling the use of The Rhododendron Handbook 1998


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

Recommended citation
'Rhododendron moupinense' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/rhododendron/rhododendron-moupinense/). Accessed 2024-05-29.


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.
Lowest part of the carpel containing the ovules; later developing into the fruit.
(pl. apices) Tip. apical At the apex.
Fringed with long hairs.
Having a rounded surface.
Plant growing on trees but not parasitic on the host.
Lacking hairs smooth. glabrescent Becoming hairless.
midveinCentral and principal vein in a leaf.
Short straight point. mucronate Bearing a mucro.
Generally an elongated structure arising from the ovary bearing the stigma at its tip.


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

Recommended citation
'Rhododendron moupinense' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/rhododendron/rhododendron-moupinense/). Accessed 2024-05-29.

Shrub, 1–1.3 m, often epiphytic; young shoots setose. Leaves 3–4 × 1.6–2.2 cm, narrowly ovate to elliptic or obovate, apex rounded, margin ciliate, lower surface densely scaly. Flowers 1–2, terminal; calyx lobes c.2mm, pubescent; corolla white, often flushed pink, usually with dark red spots, open-funnel-campanulate, 30–35 mm, outer surface glabrous, lacking scales; stamens 10; style longer than stamens, declinate. Flowering February-March. Royal Horticultural Society (1997)

Distribution  China W Sichuan, Guizhou

Habitat 2,000–4,000 m

RHS Hardiness Rating H5

Awards FCC 1994 (Crown Estate Commissioners, Windsor) to a clone 'Ice Cool'; truss 1-3-flowered, greenish white, with two small clusters of moderate red spots in the dorsal throat. AGM 1993

Conservation status Near threatened (NT)

Taxonomic note This species is closely allied to R. dendrocharis (q.v.) and one of the earliest species to flower in cultivation. Royal Horticultural Society (1997)

A dwarf evergreen shrub 2 to 4 ft high; young shoots hairy, much of the hairiness disappearing by autumn. Leaves leathery, obovate, or oval, rather convex above, rounded or slightly heart-shaped at the base, usually rounded and with a short mucro at the apex, 34 to 112 in. long, about half as wide, dark, slightly glossy green, and glabrous except for some minute down on the midrib above, pale and covered with minute scales beneath, margins ciliate at first towards the base; leaf-stalk 18 to 14 in. long, furnished with dark hairs. Flowers one to three in a terminal cluster, opening in February or March; flower-stalks short, scaly. Calyx about 16 in. long, scaly and hairy on the outside, with broadly rounded lobes. Corolla white or pink, sometimes spotted with purple or crimson, five-lobed, funnel-shaped, up to 2 in. across. Stamens ten, downy in the lower part. Ovary scaly; style glabrous. Bot. Mag., t. 8598. (s. Moupinense)

Native of W. Szechwan, where it grows as an epiphyte on evergreen oaks and other broad-leaved trees, but sometimes on rocks and cliffs; discovered by Père David in 1869; introduced by Wilson in 1909, during his first expedition for the Arnold Arboretum. It flowered with Miss Ellen Willmott of Great Warley, Essex, in 1913 and received an Award of Merit when she showed it the following year on February 10. The pink-flowered form received the same award when shown from Bodnant on February 23, 1937. It is a delightful rhododendron and perfecdy hardy, but flowering so early it is rarely seen in perfection in frosty gardens. It is the parent of many early-flowering hybrids.