The modern species comprise several plants which, if not of the highest importance, nevertheless are of much beauty and interest. Dealing mainly with the hardy kinds, and these in alphabetical order, we take first Augustinii, which was named after Dr. Augustine Henry. It is abundant in Western China, where it grows up to twenty feet high. The leaves are lanceolate; the flowers are about two-and-a-half inches across and vary from pink to pale purple; there is a white form. Chartophyllum, from Southern China, is an erect evergreen with white, spotted flowers about one-and-a-half inches across; it resembles an Azalea. Flavidum (syn. primulinum) is a small evergreen shrub with Myrtle-like leaves and pale yellow flowers. Harrovianum is an evergreen about three feet high with mauve flowers in clusters. Keiskei is an evergreen from Japan, six feet high, with pale yellow flowers in clusters. Mucronulatum is from Central Asia, it is a low deciduous species with rose flowers in clusters. Przewalskii is an evergreen from China, with white flowers in corymbs. Racemosum is a distinct deciduous species from Yunnan, two to three feet high, with small white or pale rose flowers in clusters from the leaf-axils; useful for the rock garden.
Rubiginosum is an erect evergreen from Yunnan four to five feet high, with small trusses of rosy flowers spotted with crimson. Yunnanense is an erect evergreen shrub six feet high, with flowers in open heads like an Azalea, white spotted with crimson. The following should have sheltered places if grown outside, as their hardiness is questioned: auriculatum, from Hupeh, Central China, a tall evergreen, large and beautiful white or rose funnel-shaped flowers. Benthamianum, China, evergreen, violet flowers in threes. Ciliicalyx, Yunnan, resembles formosum, bristly stalks, flowers four inches across, white flushed rose, in large clusters; very beautiful. Decorum, China, large leaves and fragrant flowers but of poor habit. Delavayi, China, an evergreen resembling arboreum, which is a Himalayan species; dark red flowers two inches across in a round head. Fordii, China, flowers white, tinted pink, red spots, in corymbs, a compact evergreen. Intricatum, a small dense evergreen from Yunnan with small violet flowers in clusters of five. Irroratum, China, an evergreen six feet high, white spotted with rose. Lacteum, China; bell-shaped flowers in a close truss, white, blotched with purple; resembles Falconeri, a Himalayan species. Micranthum, China, small white bell-shaped flowers in racemes. Scabrifolium, a small evergreen, with white or pink bell-shaped flowers in umbels; from Yunnan. Pink Pearl and Alice are the two outstanding garden varieties of recent introduction.
Fig. Rhododendron Yunnannese. Colour photo by R. A. Malby.