Keiskei Rhododendron, Keisuki Rhododendron rho-do-DEN-dron
- Broadleaf evergreen shrub, 2 ft (0.6 m) tall in 10 years, to 6 ft (1.85 m), low growing, compact, occasionally leggy and open. Leaves lanceolate to narrowly elliptic, 4-6 cm long, 2-3 cm wide, tip pointed, base tapered or rounded, more or less scaly on both surfaces, but especially below, bronze-brown when young; petiole about 6 mm long. Flowers pale, dull yellow, broadly bell-shaped, 3-5 cm wide, 10 stamens, 2-6 flowers per cluster; flower stalk scaly, 1.3-2.0 cm long.
- 0o F, early-mid; quality rating: 4/3-4/4 [flower / plant & foliage / performance; scale 1 (poor) - 5 (best)]. Sun.
- Native to Japan (widely distributed, Honshu to Yakushima). The American Rhododendron Society's taxonomic tree lists two varieties of this species, the flowers of both are similar, but:
- var. keiskei - is a medium sized shrub that is often leggy (0.6 m in 10 years), only hardy to 0o F, and leaves 3-7.5 cm long, whereas
- var. ozawae - is a very dwarf, prostrate shrub (0.3 m in 10 years), hardy to -10o F, and leaves shorter, 1.5-2.5 cm long. The selection 'Yaku Fairy' is a slow-growing, prostrate form that is native to Kuromi Peak on island of Yaku.
- keiskei: after Ito Keisuke, 1803-1900, a Japanese botanist.
li>Rhododendron Species Foundation and Botanical Garden, Federal Way, Washington.