Rhododendron coryi - A New Repent Species From Southeastern Texas
Lloyd H. Shinners
Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas
Article copied in full by Mary Fleming from: Castanea, vol. 26, no. 4, December, 1961, p. 156 -157
Two quite widespread species of rhododendron have long been known in eastern Texas: R. canescens (Michx.) Sweet, with at least partly pink or rosy corollas expanding before the leaves, and R. oblongifolium (Small) Millais, with pure white corollas appearing after the leaves. Both are shrubs of small to medium size (0.6-3.0 m. tall), with stems single or in clumps. In extreme southeastern Texas occurs a third rhododendron which is consistently small (0.4-1.0 m. tall), has flowers which expand after the leaves (unfortunately information as to color is not available), and grow from a stout, woody rhizome. The eastern rhizomatous R. atlanticum (Ashe) Rehder is credited to Texas in Gleason's New Britton & Brown Illustrated Flora (vol. 3, p. 10; 1952), but Dr. Arthur Conquist informs me that there is no voucher specimen at New York, and the basis of this report is unknown. The Texas plant differs from R. atlanticum in being freely branched, in having no longer gland-tipped hairs on the corolla tube (0.8-1.0 mm. as against 0.4-0.6 mm.), and style minutely pubescent close to base (rather than prominently pubescent in basal third or half). In general appearance the Texas plant resembles R. viscosum (L.) Torrey, a species which according to Rehder (in Wilson & Rehder, A Monograph of Azalea, Publ. Arnold Arb, 9: 157-159, 1921) reaches its southwestern limits in South Carolina and eastern Tennessee. The Texas plant differs from R. viscosum in being rhizomatous and in blooming in April instead of June-July. It is quite distinct from any known Trans-Mississippi species, and is here named in honor of the collector of the three specimens available to me, as:
RHODODENDRON Coryi, sp. nov. Frutex parva (0.4-1.0 m, alta) ramosa rhizomatosa. Ramuli pilosuli glabrescentes. Folia ante anthesin oblanceolata vel oblongo-vel elliptico-obovata acutiuscula ramulorum florentium 3.0-4.5 cm. longa 1.3-2.0 cm. lata novellorum usque 7 cm. longa omnia subtus pilosula. Pedicelli pubescentes et glandulosopilosi. Corollae (cuius color ignotus) tuba extus puberula et sat longe glanduloso-pilosa. Ovarium denissime glanduloso-pilosa. Stylus basin versus solum puberulus.
HOLOTYPE: frequent on railroad right of way at pitcher-plant bog, Hyatt Bog, 2 miles south of Warren, Tyler Co., Texas, V. L. CORY 57145, April 18, 1950 (SMU). "Shrub about 1 m. high." PARATYPES, both from Texas, both at SMU. Hardin Co.: frequent in bottom woods of Village Creek, near artificial lake, 4 3/4 miles south of Silsbee, CORY 57191, April 19, 1950. "Shrub, about 1 m. high." Newton Co.: infrequent around pitcher-plant bog, 63/4 miles north of Bleakwood, CORY 57207, April 19, 1950. "Shrub, up to 4.5 dm. high."
I am indebted to Dr. Clair A. Brown of Louisiana State University, who questioned my assignment of the specimens to R. oblongifolium pointing out their resemblance to R. viscosum and (in root system) to R. atlanticum.