Rusty Rhododendron
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Rusty Rhododendron
P Native Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Rusty Rhododendron • Nepali: Nilo-Patay Chimal
Botanical name: Rhododendron aeruginosum    Family: Ericaceae (Blueberry family)
Synonyms: Rhododendron campanulatum var. aeruginosum

Rusty Rhododendron is a branched shrub, 1.5 m high, grayish brown bark and peels off in pink flakes. Flowers are broadly bell-shaped, 2.5-2.8 cm long, 3-3.5 cm broad, 5-lobed, petals shortly sub divided, lobules rounded. Flowers are borne on hairless stalks 1.5-2 cm long. Stamens are 10, filaments brownish black. Leaves are 5-7.5 cm long, 3-4.5 cm broad, elliptical, tough, heart-shaped at the base and with a short sharp point at tip, margins recurved, leaf surface bright green, hairless, underside rusty-brown, midrib and lateral vein also covered with tomentum, leaf-stalks 4-5 mm. Rusty Rhododendron is found in forests, thickets, alpine slopes, at altitudes of 3700-4300 m, in Central and E. Himalaya to S. Tibet. Flowering: May-June.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed beyond Tsomgo lake, Sikkim & Tawang distt., Arunachal Pradesh.

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