R. camelliiflorum

R. camelliiflorum is a unique rhody with no close relatives. It is native to eastern Nepal and Bhutan, where it usually grows epiphytically on trees or rocks. It develops a peeling reddish bark. The leaves and young stems are heavily covered with scales.

Flowers are usually white but there are wine red flowered plants in the wild.

R. camelliiflorum might reach four feet tall in ten years, but it will always have a free spirited form that is in marked contrast to its more formal distant cousins.

A mix of sun and shade is best but perfect drainage is essential. Small amounts of fertilizer on Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day will keep it happy.

Since R. camelliiflorum is epiphytic, it should be a good candidate for a hanging basket or try propping it in the notch of a tree branch, strategically anchored if necessary. It’s the kind of plant that invites experimentation. Protect from extreme cold.