Rhododendron wardii (syn. R. wardii var. wardii)
Ward Rhododendron rho-do-DEN-dron WORD-e-i, WORD-ee-ee
- Broadleaf evergreen shrub, open and upright, about 4 ft (1.2 m) tall in 10 years, may be 15-20 ft (4.5-6 m) high in the wild. Leaves alternate, simple, thin leathery, varying in shape from nearly orbicular or ovate, oblong-elliptic or oblong, rounded to obtuse at the apex, rounded to somewhat cordate at the base, to about 10 cm long, dark to medium green above without hairs, lighter below and glaucous. Flowers about 6 cm long, bowl or cup shaped (widely campanulate to saucer-shaped), clear lemon to bright yellow, occasionally flushed with green or with a crimson blotch, in loose clusters of 5 to 14. Similar to R. litiense, but R. wardii has more rounded leaves.
- 0o F, mid, quality rating 4/3-4/3-4 [flower / plant & foliage / performance; scale 1 (poor) - 5 (best)]. Sun to part shade. Native to China (Yunnan, Sichuan) and southeastern Tibet.
- wardii: after Francis Kingdom Ward (1885-1958), English plant collecter, explorer and author (25 books, mostly as Frank Kingdon-Ward) who introduced many plants from China; he collected the type specimen of Rhododendron wardii.