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A deciduous shrub, 4 to 8 ft high, with erect branches; young shoots mostly glabrous; winter-buds with several ovate, bluntly pointed scales. Leaves oval, oblong, or somewhat obovate, usually tapered, sometimes rounded at the base, slender-pointed, 2 to 4 in. long, 1 to 2 in. wide, sometimes glabrous, but usually with hairs on the midrib and veins both above and below when quite young, margins always hairy; stalk 1⁄2 in. or less long. Flowers yellow, deeply tinged with red, borne during May in pairs at the end of a stalk 11⁄2 to 2 in. long; corolla 1⁄2 in. long, with a short tube protruded on one side near the base, distinctly two-lipped, very hairy inside, the lower part of the stamens hairy. Fruits red, up to 1⁄2 in. long, cherry-like, united for at least part of their length.
Native of central and southern Europe, but with varieties or closely allied species in E. Asia; cultivated since the 16th century. The species is very distinct among cultivated bush honeysuckles in its long flower-stalks, large leaves and large fruits, but has no particular garden value.