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A low compact evergreen glabrous shrub from 9 in. to 2 ft high, more in hotter countries. Leaves of a conspicuously blue-white colour 1 to 2 in. long, 1⁄8 to 1⁄2 in. wide, broadest near the apex, tapering thence to the base, with little or no stalk. Panicles erect, terminal, 3 to 6 in. long, continuing to produce flowers as they lengthen from May until July or August. Flowers bright, clear yellow, 11⁄2 in. across when fully expanded, but opening indifferently in dull weather and lasting in good condition but one day. Petals five, each 1 to 11⁄4 in. long, of very fragile texture. Sepals five, green, narrow-lanceolate, fine-pointed, 1⁄3 in. long.
This gay little shrub is a native of the eastern Mediterranean region; introduced in the 18th century. It is not so much grown as it deserves, for when it is in flower few plants of its character are so bright. It makes a neat little tuft, and although the flowers are so fugitive, they are borne so freely on fine summer days that the plant is almost hidden by blossom. It is hardy at Kew in all but the severest winters, but is not a long-lived plant in our climate. It is very easily increased by means of cuttings taken whilst the wood is comparatively soft, and placed in brisk heat. Seeds are borne freely, but it helps to prolong the life of the plant if they are not allowed to develop. The soil need not be very rich, but as sunny a spot as possible is desirable. Even out of flower its vividly glaucous foliage is pleasing.
For allied, less woody species, see Flora Europaea, Vol. 2, pp. 207-208.