331. Rhododendron argyrophyllum Franchet, Bull. Soc. Bot. France. 33: 231. 1886.
银叶杜鹃 yin ye du juan
Small trees or shrubs, 3–7 m tall; bark grayish, rough; shoots greenish, glabrous when young. Petiole slender, 15–35 mm, glabrescent; leaf blade leathery or thickly leathery, narrowly elliptic or oblong-lanceolate, 8–13 × 2–4 cm; base cuneate; margin entire and slightly reflexed; apex acute; abaxial surface indumentum thin silvery-white felty to fawn plastered; adaxial surface deep green, slightly floccose when young, glabrous when mature, midrib prominent abaxially, grooved adaxially; lateral veins 12–14-paired, obscure on both surfaces. Inflorescence lax, 6–9-flowered; rachis 10–15 mm, rufous tomentose. Pedicel 1.5–3.5 cm, pubescent; calyx lobes 5, ca. 2 mm; corolla funnel-campanulate or campanulate, narrow or broad at base, white or pink, with purple or rose spots within on upper part, 2.5–3.5 cm, lobes 5, obovate, ca. 1 × 1.5 cm, emarginate; stamens 12–15(–16), unequal, 1.2–2.5 cm, filaments tomentose at base; ovary cylindric-oblong, ca. 8 mm, with white or grayish indumentum; style ca. 1.8 cm, glabrous, stigma capitate. Capsule cylindric, usually curved, 18–25 × ca. 6 mm, pubescent when young. Fl. Apr–May, fr. Jul–Aug.
Forests, thickets; 1600–2300 m. E and NW Guizhou, S and W Sichuan, NE Yunnan.
Three subspecies may be recognized in China. In addition, var. glabriovarium M. Y. He (Acta Phytotax. Sin. 35: 66. 1997), described from C Sichuan (Dayi), needs to be considered. It differs from typical Rhododendron argyrophyllum in having the pistil longer than the corolla and in the glabrous ovary and style.