A deciduous shrub of spreading graceful habit 6 to 12 ft high in the wild; young shoots four-angled, minutely downy. Leaves opposite, ovate-lanceolate, slender-pointed, rounded to broadly wedge-shaped at the base, not toothed, 21⁄2 to 5 in. long, 1 to 2 in. wide, slightly downy and dark glossy green above, more downy beneath especially on the midrib; stalk 1⁄8 to 1⁄4 in. long. Flowers usually produced in May in short clusters terminating short leafy shoots that spring from the growths made the previous year. Corolla 3⁄4 to 1 in. long, tubular at the base, expanding at the mouth into five short rounded lobes; the colour is creamy white, more or less stained with rose; throat orange. Calyx of five awl-shaped, downy lobes. Flower-stalks slender, downy, 1⁄2 to 1 in. long, carrying four heart-shaped, membranous bracts beneath the calyx, the two larger ones enlarging, persisting and enclosing the small dry fruit, at the apex of which the calyx also remains attached.
Native of Yunnan, China; discovered in 1886 by the Abbé Delavay; introduced by Forrest about 1910; it flowered at Glasnevin in May 1919. From D. floribunda it is distinguished by its longer flower-stalks and, on the average, larger flowers with deeper corolla lobes. D. ventricosa differs in its corolla being more bellied towards the base and more barrel-shaped. It is perfectly hardy in the Edinburgh Botanic Garden, where there are three plants over 5 ft in height. It is 10 ft high at Westonbirt, in Mitchell Drive.