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Leptodermis purdomii Hutch.

Modern name

Leptodermis purdomii Hutch.

A deciduous shrub up to 5 ft high, with long very slender, wiry young shoots, covered with a close down at first. Leaves opposite, borne in clusters at the joints, linear, 14 to 12 in. long, 110 to 18 in. wide, glabrous, margins recurved. Flowers produced towards the end of the current season’s growth in August and September in a slender panicle several inches long. Corolla slenderly tubular, 12 in. long, five-lobed, pink.

Native of N. China; discovered by Purdom; introduced by Farrer in 1914 (No. 260). It was, I believe, first distributed as L. virgata, a Himalayan shrub of similar habit, but Dr Hutchinson made it a new species in 1916, distinguishing it by its long slender branchlets which become quite glabrous (not covered in short coarse hairs as in L. virgata) and by its shorter and broader stipules. Farrer described it as a ‘shrub of inimitable grace with its delicate stems bowed down beneath long and lilac-like panicles that open in August’. It flowered at Highdown near Worthing, in 1921. The thin, wiry shoots and small, narrow, glabrous leaves amply distinguish it from the preceding species.



Other species in the genus