Kindly sponsored by
Peter Norris, enabling the use of The Rhododendron Handbook 1998
New article for Trees and Shrubs Online.
'Rhododendron vitis-idaea' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.
Erect shrub up to 2 m, mostly terrestrial; young stems at first covered with stalked stellate scales which soon disappear to leave a rough warty surface. Leaves 0.8-5 x 0.5-2.5 cm, obovate to elliptic, the apex obtuse, rounded to retuse, the margin strongly recurved, the base tapering; upper surface at first with small silvery scales, quickly glabrescent, the midrib impressed, the laterals 3-5 pairs smooth or very slightly impressed; lower surface with the midrib raised throughout its length, laterals slightly raised or obscure, scales well spaced, brown, circular to substellate, conspicuous against the pale surface of the leaf. Flowers mostly solitary occasionally in pairs, pendent; calyx a low scaly and slightly hairy ring; corolla red, cylindrical, sometimes slightly curved, 2-5 x 1.8-2.5 cm, finely silvery scaly and inconspicuously white-hairy outside; stamens 10, clustered on the lower side of the mouth; ovary densely white-hairy and scaly, style hairy in the basal half, glabrous above. Royal Horticultural Society (1997)
Distribution Papua New Guinea Main range around Mt Wilhelm, Saruwakets, Rawlinson Range, vicinity of Bulolo and Owen Stanley Mts
Habitat 2,100-3,500 m
RHS Hardiness Rating H2
Conservation status Least concern (LC)
Now including R vandeursenii Sleumer originally distinguished by its larger flowers but all intermediates have been shown to occur; these large-flowered forms are the best in cultivation Royal Horticultural Society (1997)