Emu Valley Newsletter – June 2021
As spring gives way to summer and the flowering season draws to a close, the last crimson-scarlet flowered rhododendrons to bloom at Emu Valley are R. kyawii (we have about 12 plants in different spots). They produce their tubular-campanulate trusses among large elliptic- oblong leaves; the under-surface of these leaves is covered with a sparse fawn indumentum which usually disappears as they mature. These flowers form trusses of twelve to sixteen with darker nectar pouches at the base.
Maung Kyaw discovered this species in September 1912 near Paypat bungalow, at Myitkyna, northeast Upper Burma. Forrest and others introduced it in 1919 from western Yunnan. In cultivation R. kyawii reminds me of two other species in the same Subsection that we grow - namely R. elliottii and R. facetum. All three have crimson-red flowers, however the leaves of these two are smaller.
We grow R. kyawii in Burma and Yunnan where their bright flowers add drifts of colour among the green to welcome in the New Year.
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