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A wide-spteading bush up to 6 ft high, with crooked, flexible branches, clothed with silky down when young. Leaves broadly heart-shaped, pointed; 3 to 4 in. long, 2 to 3 in. wide; edged with minute bristle-like teeth; dull pale green above, glaucous and downy beneath; stalks woolly, 1⁄2 to 1 in. long. Flowers yellow, six to twelve appearing on a drooping spike, the main stalk of which is very woolly, produced in March and April from the naked shoots of the previous summer. The base of the spike is occupied by several large, yellowish-green, ovate bracts, silky inside; on the terminal portion of the spike the bracts are much smaller, and in the axil of each one is a stalkless flower. Petals obovate, 1⁄3 to 1⁄2 in. long. Seed-vessels downy, top-shaped, 1⁄3 in. long. Bot. Mag., t. 5458.
Native of Japan; introduced by Messrs Veitch about 1863. The quiet beauty of this shrub would perhaps be little noticed two months later in the year, but being one of the earliest to blossom and often at its best in March, it becomes particularly welcome, especially as the soft yellow of its flowers is accompanied by a charming cowslip-like fragrance. The shrub itself is quite hardy, but the flowers are damaged by inclement weather. This species has had the longest tenure in gardens and is the one commonly seen in the older collections. But it is scarcely so graceful a shrub as more recently introduced species such as C. willmottiae, nor so suited to the small garden as C. pauciflora.