was first discovered and collected by J. D. Hooker in Sikkim in
1849 and introduced by him in 1851. Subsequently this species has
been found in Nepal, Tibet, Sikkim, Bhutan, Assam, Burma, Yunnan
It grows as
an epiphyte and can also be found growing terrestrially on moss-covered
boulders and open, rocky slopes. It is generally found terrestrially
as individuals and rarely as populations.
grown from seed collected at lower elevations and latitudes are
generally considered greenhouse plants here in the Pacific Northwest.
Plants grown from seed collected at higher elevations or more northerly
latitudes are occasionally hardy in our milder areas.
is very distinctive in its characteristics and unlikely to be confused
with any other in the genus. Its oblong to oblong-lanceolate leaves
are bullate on the upper surface and densely scaly and completely
covered with a thin golden-haired indumentum on the under surface.
Growth habit is quite variable with plants ranging from 1' to 12'
in height at maturity. Flowers are funnel-campanulate, white sometimes
with a rose flush and generally very fragrant. In our limited experience
with this species the more tender forms seem to have a greater fragrance
than the hardier forms.
rhododendron demands sharp drainage and will soon let you know if
it is not happy in its location. If you wish your plant to grow
into a dense compact form you must plant it in an open exposed site.