A deciduous shrub, with peeling bark, ultimately (according to travellers) 10 to 15 ft high; young twigs downy (partially glandular-downy). Leaves ovate to oval-lanceolate, tapering at the base, long-pointed, not toothed, 2 to 4 in. long, 5⁄8 to 11⁄2 in. wide, downy on both sides and at the margin, at least when young; stalks 1⁄4 in. or less long. Flowers fragrant, produced in the axils of the leaves and at the end of short twigs, from one to six on a stalk. Corolla 1 to 11⁄4 in. long, funnel-shaped, 1 in. wide, with five rounded, spreading lobes, pale pink with yellow in the throat. Calyx persistent, with five linear, downy lobes scarcely 1⁄4 in. long. Flower-stalk hairy, 1⁄2 in. long, with four unequal-sized bracts below the ovary, which continue to grow as the fruit ripens and hide it. The two largest bracts are 3⁄4 in. long and 5⁄8 in. wide. Bot. Mag., t. 8310.
Native of Central and W. China; discovered in 1875, but not introduced until 1902, when Wilson sent home living plants to Messrs Veitch. Seeds were sent two years later. The first flowers opened in the Coombe Wood nursery in 1907. This shrub bears its fragrant blossoms abundantly, the year-old shoots developing short side twigs on which they appear in May and June, thus forming sprays with the flowers in a double row of clusters. At Messrs Hilliers’ nursery at Winchester, on chalky soil, this species has reached a height of 20 ft.