Kindly sponsored by
Peter Norris, enabling the use of The Rhododendron Handbook 1998
New article for Trees and Shrubs Online.
'Rhododendron womersleyi' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.
Erect shrub to 2 m, mostly terrestrial; young stems at first covered with dark brown scales raised on stalks and minutely hairy, later scabrid. Leaves 0.6-1 x 0.4-0.5 cm, elliptic or broadly elliptic to sub-spherical, the apex acute, obtuse and sometimes mucronate, the margin flat, slightly cartilaginous and sometimes minutely crenulate, the base broadly tapering to rounded; the upper surface with a few scales initially but quickly glabrous, midrib impressed, laterals obsolete; the lower surface with the midrib almost flat, the laterals obsolete, the scales widely spaced, dark brown and irregularly but not deeply lobed, not impressed or raised. Flowers 1-3 per umbel, hanging vertically down; calyx a low scaly and hairy ring; corolla red, cylindrical, mostly with 5 but sometimes up to 7 lobes, 2-2.5 x 2-2.5 cm, finely and obscurely scaly and hairy outside; stamens mostly 10, sometimes up to 14, distributed irregularly all round the mouth of the flower; ovary densely white-hairy, style covered in white hairs for the basal glabrous above. Royal Horticultural Society (1997)
Distribution Papua New Guinea Widespread on the main range
Habitat 3,200-4,000 m
RHS Hardiness Rating H2
Conservation status Least concern (LC)
A pretty species of stiffly erect growth in the wild but inclined to be straggly in cultivation. Royal Horticultural Society (1997)