QBARS - v3n1 Rhododendron tephropeplum

Rhododendron tephropeplum
P. H. Brydon

R. tephropeplum
R. tephropeplum
Photo by P. H. Brydon

R. tephropeplum is an attractive small shrub belonging to the Boothii Series. Its native habitat is in S. E. Tibet where it is found growing on rocky slopes and ledges at altitudes of 14,000 ft. It is also found in Upper Burma. This species is very closely related to R. deleiense from which it differs in having a 3 to 4 flowered inflorescence as opposed to a 7 to 8 flowered inflorescence in the latter. Form of R. tephropeplum may vary in height from 2 to 7 feet and there is a variance in the intensity of flower color. The plant in the illustration is from ten to twelve years old, about three feet high and three feet through. The leaves are oblong obovate, 1¼ to 2¼ inches long, ½ to 1 inch wide, dull green on the upper surface and grayish beneath. The pale magenta rose flowers are tubular campanulate, about 1¼ inches long and one inch wide at the mouth of the corolla. It is an excellent shrub for the foreground of the border, blooms in mid April and is apparently hardy in the coastal regions of the Pacific Northwest.