Habit: Like rhododendrons, symmetrical, broadly bushy normal shrub, 2-3 m tall and wide; extended and broad when old; very old specimen are 4 m tall, bizarre small trees; slow-growing.
Flowers: Buds carmine, light pink when open, appearing to be two-tone; individual flowers like cups, 2 cm, in clusters in corymbs with many flowers, end of May or June; attractive flowering shrub.
Leaves: Evergreen, slenderly elliptical to lanceolate, up to 10 cm long, initially fresh green, then dark green.
Demands: Sun to semi-shade; grows well in the sun if sufficient humidity, then better flower colours; in cool, humid areas, frost hardy, needs wind protection.
Soil: Good on fresh to moist or even damp, very acidic to neutral, but humic substrates; avoids chalk.
Note: The following varieties are slow-growing dwarfs to small shrubs that reach a height of 0.5-1.5 m.
Hardiness: Zone 5b