ARS Victoria Newsletter – August 2021
ANOTHER NEW SPECIES FROM YUNNAN
Rhododendron kuomeianum is a new Maddenia subsection species just described from Xiaocaoba Nature Reserve near Zhaotong City in northeast Yunnan by Yu-Hang Chang and co-workers at the Kunming Institute of Botany. It is related to R. valentinianum and differs in having a white corolla with a pale red margin (versus yellow), only 1 to 2 flowers per inflorescence versus 2 to 4, and sparser scales on the abaxial surface of the leaf. So far it is only known from a single population at the type locality at 1800-2000 m asl and grows on rocks and cliffs in a cold and wet environment. In the same paper the authors discuss recent knowledge of hybridisation amongst rhododendrons in this part of China and show that R. maddenii subsp. maddenii and R. maddenii subsp. crassum are genetically very distinct from each other. The two photos are from the paper.
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