Rhododendron glanduliferum

IN the last 10 years here have been many introductions from China of rhododendrons named 'glanduliferum' or 'glanduliferum aff.' AS the distinguishing feature of this species is the presence of glands on the flowers, none of these could be identified with certainty until now. A plant collected by Ted Millais has flowered at the Loder nursery at Leonardslee in Sussex. It IS R. glanduliferum, and is a magnificent late fragrant species.

Taxonomic Description
Shrub 1.5m in 9 years
Shoots glabrous.

Leaves

Mature leaves coriaceous, oblanceolate about 16-19 cm long by 5-6cm wide, usually with a very short acuminate tip., dark green and slightly shining and smooth above, edges glabrous, the central vein impressed, the 18/20 pairs of other veins slightly so. Lower surface pale glaucous green smooth glabrous, but possibly minutely punctulate, central vein prominent, other veins standing slightly clear of the surface. Base rounded but very slightly decurrent on the petiole which is 20-25mm long, rounded, not grooved, and has vestiges of medium staked glands.
Young growth with matt glabrous upper surface, edges with widely spaced setose glands and a few setose hairs, lower surface glabrous but possibly punctulate, midrib moderately glandular with predominantly short staked glands becoming denser towards the petiole, detersile. Petiole moderately glandular with mainly setose glands and a few setose hairs, detersile.

Flower bud
Ovoid, with the outer scales are elongated and tapered, sometimes to twice the length of the bud. These scales are moderately glandular near the base with dark glands, becoming eglandular near the tips. Inner scales glabrous.

Inflorescence
Terminal, a reacemose umbel of 14 - 18 flowers. Rhachis not examined. Pedicel 20-25mm. densely glandular with a mixture of fewer colourless very small short stalked and a greater number of larger medium stalked glands with pale or darker tips.
Calyx small about 2mm long - a disc with seven shortly triangular lobes 1-1.5mm long, densely glandular to the edges of the lobes with predominantly medium stalked glands with pale tips. Buds pale yellow with white lobes. Fully open corolla widely funnel campanulate, 7 lobed, lobes about 10-20mm long, the corolla being on average 90mm long and 80mm across, white shading to pale yellow in the throat on the lower 4 lobes, the upper 3 lobes having orange speckles on the inner half of the corolla which become a solid blotch in the throat glabrous or with a very few setose hairs. Outer surface white shaded to pale yellow near the calyx which fades as the flower matures, densely glandular near the calyx and moderately so with long stalked glands over the whole surface up to the lobes which are eglandular. I suspect the glands are shed to some extent as the flower matures, and their tips darken.
Stamens 14 unequal 20 - 30 mm long: glabrous. Anthers pale green matching the stamen. Ovary densely glandular with a mixture of fewer colourless very small short stalked and a greater number of larger medium stalked glands with pale tips. Style thick curved 20-30 mm long and 1.5 - 2mm diameter densely glandular with a mixture of colourless very small short stalked and more larger medium stalked glands with pale tips, the longer glands predominating near the ovary but becoming absent near the stigma where the style is entirely covered with short stalked glands: stigma a slightly flattened disc about twice the diameter of the style.

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