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A deciduous, sometimes partially evergreen shrub 3 to 4 ft high, of thin, erect, gaunt habit; young shoots reddish, glandular-hairy. Leaves alternate, nearly or quite stalkless, obovate or narrowly oval, 3⁄4 to 2 in. long, 1⁄5 to 1⁄2 in. wide, always narrowed towards the base, but pointed or rounded at the apex, glabrous and dark green above, paler and with scattered gland-tipped hairs beneath. Flowers produced in June and July at the end of the previous year’s growth in a series of clusters (fascicles), cach consisting of two to six blossoms. Corolla white, 1⁄2 to 5⁄8 in. across, cup-shaped; lobes shallow, rounded. Calyx-lobes 1⁄8 in. long, ovate, green, glabrous; flower-stalks threadlike, 3⁄4 to 11⁄4 in. long, beset with a few scattered hairs. Bot. Mag., t. 8319.
Native of the Carolinas, south-eastern United States; discovered by Michaux, and introduced to Britain in 1820, but for many years quite lost to cultivation, until reintroduced to Kew in 1904. It is a distinct species, but has a somewhat inelegant habit owing to its sparse branching. It loses all or nearly all its leaves in severe weather, and is, perhaps, seen to best advantage planted thinly with an undergrowth of some dwarf peat-loving evergreen like Leiophyllum or Bruckenthalia.