Emu Valley Newsletter – March 2019
R. falconeri ssp. falconeri is one of the easiest of the larger leafed rhododendrons to identify. The thick leaves are elliptic to obovate and up to 170mm broad and nearly 300 in length, the upper surface matt, rugulose with perhaps a touch of scattered tomentum whilst the underside is covered with a thick rust-coloured brown indumentum.
The creamy-white to pale yellow campanulate shaped flowers are massed in large trusses proudly displayed on the ends of stout branches, which are also covered in brown hairs and when the new growth appears the emerging leaves are covered in pale golden brown hair similar to cows ears.
J. D. Hooker collected this well-known species on his explorations of the Himalayan countries in 1848 at Tonglo Mountain in Sikkim. Further collectors discovered it in Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan, west Arunachal Pradesh and Assam.
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