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A deciduous shrub up to 8 ft high, with glabrous young shoots and leaves; winter-buds as in L. nigra. Leaves oval or inclined to oblong, abruptly pointed tapered to rounded at the base, 3⁄4 to 2 in. long, 1⁄2 to 1 in. wide, reddish at first, turning bright green above, the midrib and veins remaining reddish; stalk 1⁄8 to 1⁄6 in. long. Flowers pale pink, 2⁄5 in. long, produced in pairs on a slender stalk of the same length; the pairs are borne on short peduncles in the leaf-axils of very slender leafy shoots in May and June. Fruits black.
Native of China; discovered in Kansu by Przewalski in 1872; introduced from St Petersburg to Kew in 1892. It succeeds well in the Arnold Arboretum, Mass., where it is valued as a graceful bush honeysuckle with handsomely veined leaves and plentiful crops of black berries. The specific name refers to the reddish-veined leaves.