An evergreen shrub or small tree up to 20 ft high, the young shoots and leafstalks clothed thickly with stiff, pale, gland-tipped bristles, 1⁄6 in. long, which persist partially through the first winter. Leaves narrowly oblong-lanceolate, slender pointed, heart-shaped at the base, 3 to 6 in. long, 3⁄4 to 11⁄2 in. wide, dull green and glabrous above, clothed with brown hairs beneath, especially on the midrib; stalk 1⁄4 to 5⁄8 in. long. Flowers borne in March, sometimes in February or April, in terminal trusses of up to twelve, on bristly stalks about 1⁄2 in. long. Calyx rim-like. Corolla rich red, sometimes paler or even white, tubular-campanulate, 11⁄2 to 2 in. long and wide, unspotted, with dark nectar-pouches at the base. Stamens ten, glabrous. Ovary densely clad with gland-tipped bristles; style glabrous. Bot. Mag., t. 8864. (s. Barbatum ss. Maculiferum)
A rare native of W. Szechwan, known only from Mt Omei, the Wa-shan, and around Pao-hsing-hsien; discovered by the French missionary David in 1869; introduced by Wilson for Messrs Veitch in 1904. It is a striking plant, easily recognisable even when out of flower by its narrow, drooping, bristly leaves. It is hardy in a sheltered position, but flowers too early in the year to be suitable for general planting. The colour of cultivated plants is usually a rich red. It received an Award of Merit when shown from Bodnant on February 27, 1923.