An evergreen shrub 6 to 10 ft high in a wild state, but frequently more on walls in this country; young shoots reddish, downy. Leaves ovate to roundish ovate, 3⁄4 to 13⁄4 in. long, 1⁄2 to 1 in. broad, shallowly toothed, pointed, firm in texture; glossy green and glabrous on both surfaces, but paler beneath; hairy only on the margin; stalk 1⁄8 in. or less long. Flowers pendulous, rosy-red to magenta, produced in June at or near the end of short twigs which spring from the year-old wood. Corolla slenderly funnel-shaped, narrowing towards the base, 11⁄2 to 2 in. long, nearly 1 in. wide at the mouth, where are five rounded, spreading lobes. Sepals five, green, linear-oval, 1⁄3 in. long. Stamens hairy. Bot. Mag., t. 4316.
Native of Mexico on the Cordilleras of Oaxaca at 10,000 ft, also found in the neighbouring states of Veracruz and Puebla; introduced to Europe in 1841. This is the handsomest of the abelias that can be grown out-of-doors with us, but it needs the protection of a wall. At Kew, a plant growing against the wall of a greenhouse has flourished for many years and flowers well most seasons, but it is quite unable to live in the open unprotected. For a south wall this shrub, with its shining leaves and gay flowers, is most attractive. In the milder countries it will reach a height of 20 ft, but good specimens have become rare since the hard winters of 1961-3, when A. floribunda was killed or badly damaged nearly everywhere.
From the Supplement (Vol. V)
Plants sometimes offered in garden centres under this name may be A. × grandiflora.