Kindly sponsored by
Peter Norris, enabling the use of The Rhododendron Handbook 1998
New article for Trees and Shrubs Online.
'Rhododendron sphaeroblastum' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.
Shrub 1-3(-7) m. Leaves (6-)9-12 x 3.6-6.2 cm, broadly ovate-lanceolate, apex acute to apiculate, lower surface covered with a dense two-layered indumentum, the upper layer usually rust-red, lanate-tomentose, composed of ramiform hairs, the lower compacted; petioles glabrescent. Flowers 10-20, in a dense truss; calyx 1.5-2 mm; corolla white to pink, with purple flecks, funnel-campanulate, nectar pouches lacking, 35-40 mm; ovary and style glabrous. Flowering April-May. Royal Horticultural Society (1997)
Distribution China N Yunnan, SW Sichuan
Habitat 3,350-4,550 m
RHS Hardiness Rating H6
Conservation status Least concern (LC)
This species is closely allied to R. taliense and to R. mimetes. Plants from NE Yunnan have been referred to var. wumengense K.M.Feng. These are said to differ in the thinly coriaceous leaves with a fulvous-cinereous-indumentum. Royal Horticultural Society (1997)