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Desmodium praestans Forrest

Modern name

Desmodium yunnanense Franch.

A deciduous shrub to 15 ft high; young shoots downy. Leaves usually composed of a single leaflet, which is broad-ovate, rounded or obtuse at the apex rounded or truncate at the base, 4 to 9 in. long and 312 to 634 in. wide; more rarely the leaves are trifoliolate, the terminal one of the same size and shape as the single leaflets, lateral ones smaller; pale green above, downy beneath. Flowers purplish pink in downy terminal panicles up to 16 in. long, which may be broad and lax or spike-like. Bot. Mag., n.s., t. 407.

Native of S.W. China; discovered by Forrest and introduced by him in 1914; in nature it occupies dry, open places among rocks and in scrub at 7,000 to 10,000 ft. This species, which Forrest himself admired very much, has always been rare in gardens. It is rather tender and most of the cultivated plants seem to have been lost during the last war or in the winter of 1946-7. The flowering shoot figured in the Botanical Magazine was taken from a plant growing in the Moat Garden at Windsor Castle (for which see also Journ. R.H.S., Vol. 68, fig. 36). It is probably best grown on a south wall.



Other species in the genus