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An evergreen shrub, with spreading or erect branches, 3 to 12 ft high with a smooth, dark reddish-brown bark. Young growths covered with a dense down, intermixed with glandular hairs. Leaves ovate to oblong-ovate, 11⁄4 to 23⁄4 in. long, heart-shaped at the base and usually sessile, glabrous or downy or downy-glandular beneath. Flowers urceolate, 1⁄4 in. long, pink or white, with glandular-hairy pedicels, arranged in a panicle and borne in spring; ovary glandular. Fruit globose, reddish brown, covered with a sticky down. Bot. Mag., n.s., t. 280.
Native of California; introduced to the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, in 1934, by seed received from Mrs Lester Rowntree, who did so much to popularise the native shrubs of California. It grew well in front of the old planthouses, now demolished, where it reached a height of 14 ft and flowered and fruited in most years.
In the related A. auriculata Eastw., the leaves are auriculate at the base, downy but not glandular beneath, and grey-green in colour. Other allied species, probably not in cultivation in Britain, but said to be ornamental in flower and fruit, are: A. morroensis Wieslander & Schreiber, and A. pajaroensis Adams.