A tree 30 to 60 ft high, the shoots, under-surface of the leaves, and inflorescences covered with velvety, branching hairs which mostly fall away by the end of the season. Leaves broadly ovate, straight or slightly heart-shaped at the base, long and taper-pointed, 3 to 6 in. long, 2 to 5 in. wide; stalk 11⁄2 to 4 in. long. Flowers 11⁄2 in. long and nearly as wide, pinkish, spotted in and round the throat with brownish red, and stained with yellow; produced seven to fifteen together in corymbs. Calyx velvety; corolla bell-shaped, with five rounded, frilled lobes, and about 11⁄2 in. across. Seed-pod 12 to 18 in. long, very slender.
Native of W. China; introduced to France towards the end of last century. It was named from specimens collected by Père Farges in Szechwan, where it was also found by Henry. Wilson sent seed from Hupeh in 1901 and again in 1907.
f. duclouxii (Dode) Gilmour C. duclouxii Dode; C. sutchuenensis Dode – This differs from the type chiefly in being destitute of stellate hairs; the shoots, leaves, and inflorescence are quite glabrous. Introduced by Wilson in 1907 under W. 640, but this seed was distributed as typical C. fargesii; also to Kew in 1908 from M. de Vilmorin. The f. duclouxii was given an Award of Merit when shown from Kew in 1934 and is figured in Bot. Mag., t. 9458.
Although beautiful in flower, C. fargesii in both its forms makes a rather gaunt, narrow-crowned tree. The f. duclouxii in particular is of poor habit as seen in cultivation and seemingly short-lived.