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A semi-scandent, unisexual shrub with slender, much-interlaced branches; twigs slender, slightly ribbed, glabrous, dark green. Leaves in the ordinary sense of the word are nearly always absent in adult plants, the blades being suppressed and leaving only the stalk, which is green, slender, and varies from 3⁄4 to 4 in. in length. Sometimes in young plants, rarely in adult ones, three minute, ovate or triangular leaflets are produced. Flowers fragrant, greenish white, about 1 in. wide, borne singly on slender hairy stalks 1 to 2 in. long and produced in clusters of two to six from the axils of the leaf-stalks. Sepals four to six, lance-shaped, spreading, silky outside. Seed-vessel with silky style. Bot. Mag., t. 8686.
Native of both islands of New Zealand, but more common and widely spread in the south. It was grown by Miss Willmott at the foot of a sunny wall at Warley, Essex, where it formed a dense mass of rush-like twigs and branches several feet long and blossomed in May. It was female. At Kew the present specimen has grown since 1956 on a wall of the Temperate House, and on the rock garden at Edinburgh there is a healthy plant growing in an exposed position. The late Canon Boscawen, who cultivated so many tender southern hemisphere species in his garden at the Ludgvan Rectory, Cornwall, planted this species there against a sunny wall, where it still flourishes. It is worth growing for the fragrance of its flowers and for its unusual aspect. Except in the maritime south and south-western counties, it will need some such protection as a sunny wall.