Kindly sponsored by
Peter Norris, enabling the use of The Rhododendron Handbook 1998
New article for Trees and Shrubs Online.
'Rhododendron versteegii' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.
Shrub to 1 m, terrestrial; young stems densely scaly but quickly becoming glabrescent and smooth. Leaves 1-4 x 0.6-2 cm, obovate to elliptic, the apex obtuse to rounded, the margin flat, often minutely crenulate especially towards the apex, base tapering; upper surface densely silvery scaly, only slowly glabrescent, midrib slightly impressed above, lateral veins 3-4 pairs also slightly impressed or obscure; lower surface with the midrib broad and strongly raised at the base, disappearing upwards before the apex, lateral veins rather obscure, densely scaly with overlapping silvery scales. Flowers 2-5 per umbel, mostly half-hanging; calyx a densely scaly, lobed disc; corolla red and yellow in an irregular pattern, funnel-shaped, 2.5-4 x 3-4 cm, rather densely scaly outside; stamens 10, scattered around the mouth of the flower; ovary densely scaly and hairy, the style densely scaly and hairy in the lower 1/2 to 3/4, glabrous near the top. Royal Horticultural Society (1997)
Distribution Indonesia Irian Jaya Mt Trikora (Wilhelmina) and Lake Habbema region
Habitat 3,200-4,000 m
RHS Hardiness Rating H2
Conservation status Least concern (LC)
Recorded as being in cultivation but undoubtedly difficult and probably misidentified. The extraordinary bicoloured flowers would make it unmistakable when in flower. Royal Horticultural Society (1997)