Kindly sponsored by
Peter Norris, enabling the use of The Rhododendron Handbook 1998
New article for Trees and Shrubs Online.
'Rhododendron retusum' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.
Shrub or small tree, generally to 2 m, exceptionally to 7 m, usually terrestrial, young stems at first covered in raised discoid scales, later rough with the persistent tubercular scale bases. Leaves 2-4 x 1-2 cm, elliptic, broadly elliptic or obovate, the apex broadly pointed, rounded or retuse, the margin slightly recurved to strongly and broadly turned down to give the leaf a reverse channelled appearance, the base broadly tapering; upper surface at first finely set with golden discoid scales, later glabrous, midrib narrowly impressed, lateral veins 2-4 pairs hardly impressed, often obscure; lower surface with the midrib slightly raised, lateral veins very slightly raised, rather obscure, scales well spaced, discoid with broad centres. Flowers 2-10 per umbel, from terminal and lateral buds, erect to half hanging; calyx a low scaly and hairy ring; corolla red, cylindrical to narrowly funnel-shaped, 1.6-2.5 x 1-1.5 cm, sparsely scaly and hairy outside; stamens 10, more or less evenly distributed around the mouth; ovary densely scaly but without simple hairs, style with a few scales at the very base but otherwise glabrous. Royal Horticultural Society (1997)
Distribution Indonesia Sumatra and Java
Habitat 1,300-3,400 m
RHS Hardiness Rating H2
Conservation status Least concern (LC)
This species has rather small but attractive bright red flowers produced in profusion over quite a long season as the apical buds tend to open first, followed by laterals. Royal Horticultural Society (1997)