Kindly sponsored by
Peter Norris, enabling the use of The Rhododendron Handbook 1998
New article for Trees and Shrubs Online.
'Rhododendron rarum' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.
Delicate shrub up to 1 m, epiphytic, young stems densely brown-scaly at first, quickly glabrescent. Leaves 2-5.5 x 0.5-1.2 cm, narrowly elliptic to sublinear, the apex acute although with the very tip rounded, margin narrowly cartilaginous, slightly irregular, flat to slightly recurved, the base broadly tapering to rounded; upper surface minutely brown-scaly at first, quickly glabrous, midrib impressed, lateral veins obscure; lower surface with the midrib raised, lateral veins obscure, scales brown, well spaced at maturity, dendroid and easily removed but leaving the protruding epidermal bases. Flowers 1-4 per umbel, half hanging to hanging; calyx a low brown-scaly ring; corolla red, curved-cylindrical, 2.5-3.5 x 2-2.7 cm, finely but densely scaly outside; stamens 10, grouped in the upper side of the mouth of the flower; ovary densely stellate-scaly, style scaly in the lower third or half, above this with simple hairs and finally near the top glabrous. Royal Horticultural Society (1997)
Distribution Papua New Guinea Western and Eastern Highlands Provinces
Habitat 1,500-3,400 m
RHS Hardiness Rating H2
Conservation status Least concern (LC)
Its prostrate to hanging habit make it an ideal species for hanging baskets and it is the parent of a number of lovely hybrids which can similarly be displayed. Royal Horticultural Society (1997)