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Naturally a deciduous shrub, with long spreading branches, but too tender to thrive well in the open air at Kew, where it is frequently cut to the ground during winter, and thus prevented from attaining anything like its natural size. Given the protection of glass it will grow 8 ft high. Leaves ovate or oblong, slightly heart-shaped, 3 or 4 in. long on the strong primary growths, much smaller on the branchlets, distinctly three-nerved, glabrous, entire. Flowers produced on year-old shoots in narrow, cylindrical racemes 11⁄2 in. long, greenish yellow, the petals becoming in the fruiting stage much thickened, pulpy, and black-purple.
Native of the Himalaya and the Shan Hills, Upper Burma.