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A shrub 8 to 15 ft high, usually broader than it is high, consisting of a crowd of slender stems, and spreading by means of sucker growths at the base. Rarely it forms a single trunk, and thus becomes a small tree. Leaves usually consisting of five, but sometimes seven, leaflets; each leaflet from 3 to 9 in. long, and 11⁄4 to 4 in. wide, obovate, tapering towards both ends, shallowly round-toothed, covered densely beneath with greyish down. Panicles cylindrical, erect, 8 to 12 in. long, 4 in. wide from the tips of the stamens. Flowers white; petals normally four, 1⁄2 in. long, the stamens thread-like and pinkish white, standing out fully an inch beyond them; anthers red. Fruit glabrous. Bot. Mag., t. 2118.
Native of the S.E. United States; introduced by John Fraser in 1785. There are few shrubs about which more could be said in favour than this. It flowers freely in late July and August, at a time when few shrubs are in flower. It is of neat yet graceful habit, and it has a hardy, vigorous constitution. No better plant could be recommended as a lawn shrub, especially for places that are visited in August – such as many pleasure resorts. It rarely ripens seed in this country – only during such a hot, sunny season as that of 1911 – but can be propagated by division. There is a specimen in the R.H.S. Garden at Wisley, near the Restaurant, about 10 ft high and 15 ft across (1967).