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An evergreen shrub 11⁄2 to 4 ft high, with rather stiff, reddish-brown stems. Leaves opposite, holly-like, pinnate-veined, broadly elliptic to rounded, 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 in. long, dark green and shining above, paler and thinly downy beneath; margins wavy, usually folded towards the upper surface of the leaf, set with spiny teeth. Flowers borne in April, deep blue or purple, in umbellate clusters. Bot. Mag., n.s., t. 37.
This beautiful species is confined as a wild plant to one small area in Napa county, California, where Jepson discovered it at the end of the last century. It is not completely hardy at Kew but the late William Dallimore grew it successfully in his garden at Bidborough, near Tunbridge Wells, Kent, and it was his plant that provided the material for the figure in the Botanical Magazine. It is not easily reproduced by cuttings but seed, which it produces in abundance, affords a ready means of increase. It should be given a sunny position in well-drained soil.
C. prostratus var. divergens (Parry) K. Brandegee