Bell Rhododendron
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Bell Rhododendron
ative elliptic Photo: Pravabati Chingangbam
Common name: Bell Rhododendron • Hindi: बुरांस Burans, Semru
Botanical name: Rhododendron campanulatum    Family: Ericaceae (Blueberry family)

Bell Rhododendron is a wild species of rhododendron found in the Himalayan alpine regions of Northern India, Bhutan, and Nepal. It is a spreading shrub, 2-6 m tall. Its leaves are very interesting. They are broadly elliptic to oval, to 14 cm long, dark glossy green above, with brown felted wooly hairs below. In fact, running a finger on the underside of the leaves gives one a velvety feel. Beautiful bell-shaped flowers are pale mauve to rosy-purple, rarely white, purple spotted inside. Flowers grow in large trusses, or clusters, which can be up to 10 inches across. Each flower is shaped like a small bell about 1 - 1.5 inch long. It grows on the stony alpine slopes and ledges at altitudes of 3000-4400 m. Flowering: April-June.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed near Har Ki Dun, Uttarakhand & Tawang district, Arunachal Pradesh.

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