A shrub 5 or 6 ft high, young shoots scurfy, ultimately pale greyish brown, glabrous, and with peeling bark. Leaves of thinnish texture, narrowly ovate-oblong, 11⁄2 to 41⁄2 in. long, 1⁄2 to 11⁄2 in. wide, dull green, with starlike hairs above, grey beneath, and furnished with very minute, stellate scurf; rounded or broadly tapered at the base, slender-pointed or sometimes acute. Flowers in corymbs 3 in. across; each flower 1⁄2 to 1 in. wide, the best forms very showy, varying in colour from white to pink. Calyx and flower-stalks scurfy.
Native of Central and W. China. The best form of this species is ‘Major’, which has white or faintly rose-tinted flowers 1 in. across, produced in long arching sprays. It was introduced by Wilson for Messrs Veitch in 1901. The distinctions between this species and D. longifolia are pointed out under the latter.
Although many of Lemoine’s hybrids were sent out as varieties of D. discolor, this species, as understood here, had no part in their make-up, the parent or grandparent being in fact D. purpurascens, which Lemoine, following the French botanist Franchet, considered to be a variety of D. discolor. See D. × elegantissima and D. × rosea.