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A compact, bushy shrub 2 ft high, much-branched; young shoots clothed with long white hairs. Leaves sessile, lance-shaped to narrowly oblong or ovate or oval, 1⁄2 to 11⁄2 in. long, 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 in. wide, pointed, three-nerved at the base, margins (especially of the lower leaves) much undulated; both surfaces rough through the deeply impressed veins, and densely coated with starry down. Flowers purplish red, about 11⁄2 in. diameter, crowded in a terminal head, supplemented by smaller ones on short axillary branches; each flower is on a very hairy stalk, so short that it is almost hidden in the bracts; sepals five, ovate or lance-shaped, long-pointed, hairy. Bot. Mag., t. 9306.
Native of S.W. Europe and N. Africa; said to have been introduced to England in 1656. It is one of the comparatively hardy species, and will survive moderately cold winters. Its short-stalked, richer red flowers, narrow, long-pointed sepals, and wavy-margined leaves distinguish it from the nearest ally, C. albidus.