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Sikkim Rhododendron   
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Sikkim Rhododendron
ative Photo: Sanjyoti Subba
Common name: Sikkim Rhododendron • Nepali: Sikkim Gurans
Botanical name: Rhododendron sikkimense    Family: Ericaceae (Heath family)

Sikkim Rhododendron is a newly discovered and extremely rare shrub growing up to 5 m tall. Leaves are 7.5 cm long and 2.5-3.5 cm broad, thick matty texture, leathery, oblong-ovate, mucronate, dull yellowish green, green and hairless above, and glaucous green beneath. Leaves bear thin layer of silver, yellowish brown velvety hairs, veins long and prominent. Flowers are blood red, fleshy 5 lobed, broad spreading, calyx cup-like small, 5 unequal lobes, stamens 10, unequal. Sikkim Rhododendron is a remarkable species both in forms and size of the plant, varying between Rhododendron thomsonii and Rhododendron arboreum, believed by some to be a natural hybrid in wild. Sikkim Rhododendron is found in Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh, at altitudes of 3700 m. Flowering: April to May.

Identification credit: Sanjyoti Subba Photographed in Yumthang Valley, Sikkim.

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