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An evergreen shrub or small tree 6 to 18 ft high; young shoots whitish with down. Leaves 1 to 21⁄2 in. long, oval to oblong, the base tapered, the apex blunt to rounded, finely toothed, glabrous and shining above, white-downy beneath, margins revolute; stalk 1⁄4 in. long. Flower white, 1⁄4 in. across, borne on terminal pendulous racemes 3 to 41⁄2 in. long; stalks and calyx downy, ovary densely hairy. Fruit red, berry-like, subglobose, 1⁄4 in. wide, consisting of a three- to five-celled stone densely covered with pulpy granules.
Native of S. California; it was introduced to Kew before 1896 and flowered there in March and April, but is not in the collection at the present time. It is tender.
This is one of a few species, mostly Mexican, which have been detached from Arctostaphylos to form the genus Comarostaphylis, differing from it chiefly in having minutely warted (papillate) fruits, as in Arbutus.