Abeliophyllum distichum Nakai

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A deciduous shrub 3 ft or more high; young shoots glabrous, grooved on opposite sides, making them four-angled, slightly warted. Leaves opposite, in two ranks, simple, entire, ovate to oval, 2 to 312 in. long, slender-pointed, wedge-shaped or rounded at the base, hairy on both surfaces; stalk very short. Flowers white or faintly tinged with pink on opening, borne in axillary racemes 12 to 112 in. long of three to fifteen; petals four, oblong, 38 in. long, 110 in. wide, notched at the apex; calyx 18 in. long with four rounded, ciliate lobes; stamens two, anthers yellow, filaments 112 in. long; calyx and flower-stalk glabrous, very darkly coloured. The fruit recalls that of an elm, being compressed, almost circular, and edged all around with a wing. Bot. Mag., n.s., t. 10.

Native of Korea; introduced in 1924. It is a beautiful early-flowering shrub but comes from a region where, although the winters are much colder than here, the summers are decidedly hotter. For this reason, no doubt, it has not been generally successful as an open-ground plant but might be tried on a wall, as in the R.H.S. Garden at Wisley, where it will grow to 8 ft or more high. The wood deteriorates after a few seasons and should be renewed fairly frequently by pruning heavily immediately after flowering is over. It is propagated by cuttings of half-ripened wood, taken in July, or by layers.



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