Thursday, 7 May 2009

Rhododendron Griffithianum

Rhododendron Griffithianum, Wight;
var. Aucklandii

Rhododendron Griffithianum; glaberrimum, foliis sublonge petiolatis lineari-oblongis ovato-oblongisve utrinque acutis v. basi subcordatis subtus pallidis, floribus corymbosis, calyce lato disciformi margine crenato v. 5-lobo, corolla campanulata 5-lobo, lobis rotundatis bifidis, staminibus sub-16, antheris parvis, ovario sub-12-loculari glanduloso, capsula brevi obtusa.

Var. a; foliis 4-pollicaribus utrinque acutis, floribus 3 poll. latis.

Rhododendron Griffithianum. Wight, Ic. Plant. Ind. Or. v. 4. i. 1203. Hook. fl. in Journ. Hort. Soc. v. 7. pp. 77, 93.

Var. b; foliis 6-12-pollicaribus basi obtusis cordatisve, floribus 6-7 poll. latis.

Rhododendron Aucklandii. Hook. fil. Sikkim Rhod. t. 11.

This magnificent plant, which from the great expanse of its snowy-white corollas is in some respects the finest of the genus, was introduced by Dr. Hooker from the Sikkim Himalaya in 1849, and flowered at the nursery of Mr. Gaines, at Wandsworth, in May of the present year. It was originally found in Bhotan by Mr. Griffith, where specimens are however so inferior, both in foliage and flowers, to the Sikkim ones, that the figure given of them by Dr. Wight in his invaluable ' Icones ' can scarcely be recognized as belonging to the same species. In Sikkim, however, two states of the species occur, one with much smaller flowers than the other, and it was at first doubted by Dr. Hooker, whether the gigantic-flowered state figured here and in his 'Sikkim Rhododendrons,' was not a sterile form. Such, however, appears not to be the case, for Mr. Gaines's plant produced abundance of pollen, and his specimen differs in no respect from Dr. Hooker's plate, except in the paler anthers, greener petioles, and in wanting the rose-coloured hue and spots on the calyx.

Descr. A shrub, four to eight feet high, branching from the base. Leaves spreading, six to twelve inches long, linear-oblong, acute or acuminate, subcordate at the base, of a fine bright-green edged with pale-yellow, coriaceous and firm. Flowers four to six, in terminal corymbose racemes, long-peduncled, very large, sometimes seven inches across. Calyx discoid, coriaceous, obscurely lobed. Corolla campanulate, with a short tube and open limb, five-lobed ; lobes bifid. Stamens about sixteen, with glabrous filaments and small anthers. Ovary glandular, about twelve-celled. Capsule short, blunt, woody.

August 1st, 1858

Fig. 1. Stamen. 2. Calyx and pistil. 3. Transverse section of ovary:— nil magnified.

Curtis's Botanical Magazine Nº 5065, Vol LXXXIV (1858)

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