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A deciduous shrub up to 10 ft high; young shoots circular in cross-section, covered with greyish wool. Leaves elliptic or lanceolate, rounded or tapered at the base, slender-pointed, toothless; 21⁄2 to 5 in. long, 1 to 2 in. wide; soft with yellowish, ultimately greyish, wool beneath, almost glabrous above; stalk 1⁄3 in. or less long. Panicles 3 to 6 in. long, 11⁄2 to 2 in. wide, produced in May on short, often leafy, shoots springing from the preceding season’s growths and made up of crowded short-stalked clusters of three to eight fragrant blossoms; flower-stalks woolly. Corolla rose-lavender, 1⁄2 in. long, downy outside, tube slender, orange-coloured in the throat; lobes rounded. Calyx 1⁄10 in. long, very woolly, with triangular teeth. Ovary densely covered with white down. Stamens inserted midway down the corolla tube. Bot. Mag., n.s., t. 193.
Native of Yunnan, China, found by Forrest in sunny, open situations on the Tali Range up to 10,000 ft altitude and introduced by him in 1913. In producing its flowers from the old wood in spring and early summer it resembles B. farreri, but that species is very different in the shape of the larger, coarsely toothed, long-stalked leaves. Occasionally, B. heliophila has a second flowering in autumn, when terminal panicles are produced on the season’s growth, as in the summer-flowering buddleias. It flowers well at Caerhays in May. The material for the figure in the Botanical Magazine was provided by the late Charles Eley of East Bergholt Place, Suffolk.
An earlier name for this species is B. delavayi Gagnep.