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A low, evergreen shrub 1 to 2 ft high, with erect, forking branches. Leaves alternate, greyish green, 1 to 2 in. long, rarely more than 1⁄3 in. wide, glabrous, terminating as a rule in a tiny, abrupt point. Flowers 1⁄3 in. in diameter, yellow, produced several together at the end of the branchlet and in the axils of the terminal leaves; petals three or four. Fruit brownish red, composed of three segments, each about the size of a small pea flattened on two sides; it has a fleshy covering, but is bony beneath.
Native of the Mediterranean region, and rather common along the French and Italian Riviera in dry positions. Among other places one may find it on the Cap d’Antibes, and on the hills behind Mentone. It is not hardy at Kew, but lives in the gardens of the south and west coasts. I have seen it flourishing in the garden of the late Mr Hiatt C. Baker at Almondsbury, near Bristol. It has been known in gardens since the last years of the eighteenth century, but owing no doubt to its lack of any striking beauty is rarely seen now. Easily increased by cuttings in a cold frame.
The second species of Cneorum is C. pulverulentum Vent. of the Canary Islands. By some botanists it is placed in a separate genus – Neochamaelea – as N. pulverulenta (Vent.) Erdtm.