Kindly sponsored by
Peter Norris, enabling the use of The Rhododendron Handbook 1998
New article for Trees and Shrubs Online.
'Rhododendron subansiriense' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.
Shrub or tree, up to 14 m; bark smooth and peeling; young shoots apparently tomentose. Leaves 7–10.5 × 2–3.5 cm, oblong, base more or less rounded, upper surface glabrous, lower surface with epidermis lacking papillae, with numerous red punctate hair bases on the veins, each with the vestige of fasciculate hairs, otherwise glabrous; petioles glabrous. Flowers up to 15, in a dense truss; calyx 4–5 mm, cupular; corolla fleshy, scarlet, with a few purple flecks, tubular-campanulate, with nectar pouches, up to 40 mm; ovary densely tomentose, lacking glands, style glabrous. Flowering April. Royal Horticultural Society (1997).
Distribution India Arunachal Pradesh
Habitat 2,600–2,800 m
RHS Hardiness Rating H5
Conservation status Critically endangered (CR)
This species is at present only known from the Subansiri district in NE India. In cultivation it produces a very early leaf flush that is often affected by late frosts. While it will grow outside in Britain it rarely flowers. Royal Horticultural Society (1997).