You can’t beat R. mallotum for its intensely woolly orange indumentum on the underside of the leaf! But the dark rugose topside is equally spectacular. The new growth emerges as golden shoots. In short, this is a very distinctive rhododendron whose scarlet flowers simply make it one of the most outstanding species rhododendrons.
This one comes from the border area between Yunnan and Burma, where its forebears grow in the passes at about 11-12,000 feet in bamboo thickets. Unfortunately, it can be a bit tender in the Puget Sound area, needing a bit of protection during the coldest times.
R. mallotum will grow to about four feet in ten years.
R. mallotum will like: partial shade, gentle watering, excellent drainage and small amounts of fertilizer on Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day.