Kindly sponsored by
Peter Norris, enabling the use of The Rhododendron Handbook 1998
New article for Trees and Shrubs Online.
'Rhododendron polyanthemum' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.
Shrub or small tree to 7 m, epiphytic or terrestrial; young stems at first with a covering of rusty brown dendroid scales, later smooth. Leaves 8-13 x 5-8 cm, broadly elliptic, the apex obtuse, rounded or apiculate, the margin entire and flat, the base broadly tapering to rounded; upper surface at first white-scaly, then brown but quickly becoming glabrous, the midrib flat, 6-8 pairs of lateral veins not raised or impressed; the lower surface with the midrib slightly raised, lateral veins not raised, the scales brown, dendroid, easily removed but not standing on raised epidermal tubercles. Flowers 25-30 per umbel, held semi-erect to horizontal; calyx a low scaly ring; corolla bright orange or pinkish orange with a yellow eye, very powerfully and sweetly scented, narrowly funnel-shaped, 3-3.5 x 4-5 cm, laxly covered in scales outside; stamens 10, roughly arranged in two groups on either side of the flower; ovary hairy, the style hairy near the base, glabrous in the upper part. Royal Horticultural Society (1997)
Distribution Malaysia Sabah and Northern Sarawak
Habitat 1,300-2,300 m
RHS Hardiness Rating H2
Conservation status Least concern (LC)
A delightful species which can make a magnificent visual display but is so powerfully scented that in forests in the wild it is often the nose which discovers it before the eye. Royal Horticultural Society (1997)