QBARS - v33n3 R. openshawianum

R. openshawianum
Jim & Betty Caperci, Seattle, WA

R. openshawianum
R. openshawianum
Photo by Del Gould

R. openshawianum is a native of the Szechwan Province in Western China, where it grows at an elevation of about 7000 to 8000 feet.
Our plant, is approximately four feet high and as wide, and bloomed for us for the first time this year, with five large trusses. It has beautifully deep green leaves, very long and narrow, measuring 15" long and 2½" to 2¾" wide, with recurved margins. The upper-surface mid-rib and veins are deeply grooved, giving it a thinly leathery appearance. The under-surface is much lighter green, with mid-rib quite heavy and prominent, the primary veins also prominent. New growth buds are most attractive and distinct - green with burgundy-red veining. The plant is growing beneath a large Pentaphyllum Pine, and seems quite happy in that spot.
R. openshawianum bloomed for us this year in late March with campanulate flowers, the corolla almost frilled on the edges, pinkish in the bud, opening white with a very striking burgundy-red blotch in the throat. It had 22 flowers to the truss, and had a rather large heavy green pistil; uneven stamens, which we forgot to count!
So far as we know, R. openshawianum is rare in cultivation, and was quite a conversation-piece with the species lovers, as none of them had seen it before, much less in bloom. Incidentally, it went through this last winter, where we recorded a low of 2 degrees one night, with no problem, whatsoever.