Narrow-Fruit Rhododendron
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Narrow-Fruit Rhododendron
E Native Photo: Tabish
Common name: Narrow-Fruit Rhododendron • Nepali: Jhinophale gurans
Botanical name: Rhododendron leptocarpum    Family: Ericaceae (Blueberry family)
Synonyms: Rhododendron pumilum Nutt., Rhododendron micromeres

Narrow-Fruit Rhododendron is an evergreen, shrub often growing on trees, 0.9-2 m tall; branchlets scaly, otherwise hairless. Leaf-stalks are 5-10 mm, densely scaly. Leaf blades are leathery, narrowly elliptic to oblong-lanceshaped, oblong-obovate, 3-8 x 1.5-3.6 cm; base wedge-shaped or blunt; tip blunt or rounded, with a short sharp point; lower surface pale, glaucous, scales dense, 0.5-1.5 times their own diameter apart, unequal, small to large, brown, sunk in pits; upper surface bright green, scaly or hairless. Inflorescences are 3-5-10-flowered. Flower-stalk is thin, flexuous, 2-4 cm, in fruit up to 5 cm, scaly; sepals 2–5 mm, ovate to rounded, reflexed in fruit, persisting to enclose mature capsule, scaly. Flowers are shallowly bell-shaped or pinwheel-bell-shaped, yellow or whitish, 0.9-1.4 cm, tube 4-7 mm, outer surface scaly, inner surface hairy; stamens 10, filaments velvet-hairy near base or tip; ovary densely scaly; style stout, sharply bent, short, scales at base or absent. Capsules are narrowly cylindric or sickle-shaped, 1.2-1.6 cm, scaly. Narrow-Fruit Rhododendron is found in mixed forests, on cliff ledges, rocks, sometimes on trees, in Eastern Himalayas, at altitudes of 2400–3400 m. It is found in Bhutan, NE India, NE Myanmar, and Sikkim. Flowering: April-June.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in Yumthang Valley, Sikkim.

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