A compact, evergreen, glutinous shrub about 11⁄2 to 2 ft high, more in width, densely leafy; shoots glabrous. Leaves dark green, scarcely stalked, obovate, blunt or rounded at the apex, tapered from the middle downwards, 11⁄2 to 2 in. long, about half as wide, pinnately veined, densely covered with white down beneath. Flowers solitary, pure satin-white, 3 to 4 in. wide, opening in May and June, sepals three, densely ciliate. Bot. Mag., n.s., t. 157.
Native of Portugal, and introduced by Capt. Collingwood Ingram in 1939; it first flowered in 1943. It appears to be nearest in affinity to C. ladanifer and is certainly one of the finest species of the genus, its immense blossoms showing in great beauty against the dense, dark green foliage. The white under-surface of the leaves is very distinctive. It is confined in the natural state to the limestone promontory of Cape St Vincent in the Algarve, while C. ladanifer, which is common in this part of Portugal, stops short as soon as it meets the limestone (C. Ingram in Journ. R.H.S., Vol. 77, 1952, p. 91). It is not completely hardy.
Using this species as a parent, Capt. Ingram has raised some fine hybrids – see under C. crispus, ladanifer and laurifolius.