Emu Valley Newsletter – October 2020
RHODODENDRON SCABRIFOLIUM VAR SCABRIFOLIUM
The Noel Sullivan walk not only offers some wonderful vistas of our garden but is a great platform from which to view many of the species of plants we grow, R. scabrifolium var. scabrifolium is one growing near the right hand side as it meanders through the Yunnan area.
R. scabrifolium is a low spreading, or upright shrub to 3 m. The leaves are oblong-lanceolate the upper surface bullate, and quite bristly to touch, the under surface is pale green, quite hairy but soft to touch and covered in brown scales. The crimson, pink, white or white flushed pink flowers
appear at the junction of the uppermost leaves in s everal clusters often forming tight trusses on the ends of branches early in spring.
The Abbe Delavay first collected R. scabrifolium in 1887 on Heechanmen Mountain above Lankong in Yunnan. Growing among rocks and in scrubby pine and oak thickets so it is understandable that its growth should be quite tall at times. We grow two different collections, both having pale flowers but the leaves are the same growing long and have the feel of sandpaper.