An evergreen shrub of lax habit, 6 to 9 ft high (twice as high on a wall); young shoots slender, scurfy-downy at first, soon glabrous. Leaves opposite, lanceolate-oblong to ovate-oblong, slenderly pointed, tapered to rounded at the base, the terminal part more or less toothed; 2 to 4 in. long, 1⁄3 to 1 in. wide; dark dull green, glabrous and wrinkled above; white with a closely appressed felt and conspicuously veined beneath; stalks 1⁄4 to 3⁄4 in. long, with two auricles clasping the stem at the base of each pair. Flowers very fragrant, produced from September to January, crowded numerously in axillary and terminal panicles 1 to 2 in. long and about 1 in. wide. Corolla very downy, tubular, 1⁄4 to 1⁄3 in. long, 1⁄12 in. wide, with four rounded lobes at the mouth, creamy white with yellow in the throat. Calyx grey-tomentose, 1⁄16 in. long, with four pointed, triangular lobes. Bot. Mag., t. 9409.
Native of S. Africa, where it is widely spread and where it seems first to have been collected by W. J. Burchell in 1813. The date of its introduction does not seem to be recorded. In a sheltered sunny nook at the foot of a wall at Kew it has survived in the open air for as long as ten years with a slight covering in severe weather. The present specimen was planted against a wall of the Temperate House in 1956. On a warm wall it has been successfully grown as far north as Northumberland. Planted fully in the open it would be killed off during most winters. In the west and on the south coast it is quite hardy save in exceptionally severe winters like that of 1962-3. Both out-of-doors and in greenhouses it is valued for the sweet fragrance of its blossom, which opens during the dullest months. It thrives in a light well-drained loamy soil, and as it flowers on the current season’s growth can be pruned in early spring. Easily increased by summer cuttings.