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A low, evergreen shrub, usually less than 2 ft high near London, but larger in milder localities; branches erect, covered the first two or three years with spiny bristles, ultimately glabrous. Leaves obovate, 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 in. long, rounded at the apex, tapering to a short stalk at the base, covered on both surfaces and at the margin with stiff bristly hairs. Flowers in an erect, elongated, terminal raceme, 4 to 8 in. long, more crowded towards the top, the calyx erect, green, hairy; petals somewhat spoon-shaped, the terminal part yellow, and roundish; the lower part contracted into a long, slender, purplish claw; each petal about 1⁄3 in. long; flower-stalk 1⁄16 in. long.
This curious shrub is a native of the mountains of central Spain. It is not really hardy, but has stood unprotected on the rock garden at Kew for several years at a time. Our hardest winters kill it. A sunny, rather dry position should be given it. It was cultivated by Miller at Chelsea, in 1759. Propagated easily by cuttings of half-ripened wood in gentle heat. It flowers from the end of May to July. Very suitable for the Isle of Wight and similar climates.