Kindly sponsored by
Peter Norris, enabling the use of The Rhododendron Handbook 1998
New article for Trees and Shrubs Online.
'Rhododendron stenophyllum' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.
Shrub to 3 m, usually terrestrial; young stems smooth and very finely scaly. Leaves 4-7 x 0.14-0.5 cm, linear, the apex acute, the margin entire and flat, the base narrowly tapering; upper surface with small fine scales at first quickly becoming glabrescent, midrib a little impressed above, the lateral veins up to 7 pairs but obscure; lower surface with the midrib smooth and laterals obscure, the scales sparsely distributed, substellate with small centres. Flowers 1-5 per umbel, held horizontally or half hanging; calyx a low scaly ring; corolla opening orange but turning red with age, campanulate, 2.5-3.5 x 3-4.5 cm, glabrous outside; stamens 10, slightly dimorphic, arranged all round the mouth of the flower; ovary densely white hairy, style glabrous. Royal Horticultural Society (1997)
Distribution Brunei Indonesia Sabah and Northern Sarawak
Habitat 1,500-2,400 m
RHS Hardiness Rating H2
Conservation status Least concern (LC)
This species with its bizarre leaves is relatively easy to cultivate, it occurs in two distinct subspecific forms: subsp. stenophyllum is endemic to Mt Kinabalu and has leaves less than 25× as long as wide (2.5-6 mm wide); subsp. angustifolium is of much wider distribution in the wild and has leaves more than 30× as long as wide (1.4-2.2 mm wide). Royal Horticultural Society (1997)