Habitat: Rhododendron chrysanthum grows on the mountains of Siberia.
A small bush, stem 1 to 1 1/2 foot high, spreading, much branched, often concealed by moss, tips of shoots only being visible. Leaves alternate like laurel, ovate, somewhat acute, tapering to stalk, reticulated, rough above, paler and smoother underneath. Flowers large, showy, nodding, on clustered terminal, loose peduncles emerging from large downy scales. Corolla campanulate, five cleft, rounded segments, three upper largest and streaked with livid dots next the tube, lower unspotted. Stamens ten, unequal deflexed; anthers oblong, incumbent, without appendages, opening by two terminal pores, capsule ovate, rather angular,five-celled, five-valved, septicidal; seeds numerous, minute. The leaves should be gathered directly the capsules have ripened. They have a faint odour when first gathered and a bitter, acrid, astringent taste…...CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
Constituents: The leaves contain a stimulant narcotic principle, which they yield to water or alcohol.
Medicinal Uses: (In homoeopathic medicine a tincture of the fresh leaves is said to be curative of diarrhoea, amenorrhoea, chorea, affections of the eyes and ears, and neuralgia. – EDITOR.) Much used in Siberia as a remedy for rheumatism. Also useful in gout and syphilis.