A deciduous shrub 8 ft or more high, of erect habit; young shoots herbaceous, very thickly covered with down which persists until the following year. Leaves oval-lanceolate, slenderly pointed, rounded or tapered at the base, toothed; 2 to 41⁄2 in. long, 5⁄8 to 13⁄4 in. wide; dull green and downy above, grey with thick, starry down beneath; stalk 1⁄4 to 3⁄8 in. long. Flowers produced in the leaf-axils of the current season’s growth in cymose clusters 1⁄2 to 1 in. wide on a main stalk 1⁄4 to 3⁄8 in. long; corolla 3⁄16 in. wide, four-lobed, light purplish rose; calyx 1⁄8 in. long with four awl-shaped lobes and, like the flower-stalk and the outside of the corolla, densely downy. Fruit globose, dullish violet-purple, 3⁄16 in. wide.
Native of Japan and the Korean Archipelago. It was found by Richard Oldham, the Kew collector, in the latter habitat in 1861-3 and seeds were possibly sent home by him at the same time, as it is known to have been in cultivation a few years later. It is well distinguished by the dense covering of nearly all its parts with starry down. In a sheltered spot at Kew it is 8 ft high, but it is not so hardy or so handsome a shrub as C. bodinieri.