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A shrub 5 to 6 ft high, of rounded, bushy habit; young shoots quite glabrous, reddish. Leaves oval or ovate, with a heart-shaped base; contracted at the apex to a short, slender point; 2 to 4 in. long, 11⁄2 to 2 in. wide; purplish and sparingly silky-hairy beneath when young, somewhat glaucous and perfectly glabrous when fully grown; veins in six or seven pairs, the lowest pair giving off four to six nerves outwards; stalk about 1⁄3 in. long. Flowers fragrant, primrose-yellow, produced in a nodding spike 1 to 2 in. long, 3⁄4 in. wide. Basal bracts glabrous outside; floral bracts hairy outside. Anthers red-brown, distinctly protruded. Calyx-lobes short, rounded, hairy. Fruit at first densely hairy, about 1⁄3 in. long. Bot. Mag., t. 8349.
Introduced in 1900 by Wilson from Western Hupeh, China, and first raised in the Coombe Wood nursery. It flowers regularly in April but the blossoms are liable to be injured by late frosts. From C. sinensis it differs in its glabrous leaves and protruded red-brown anthers.
This species is reduced by Morley and Chao to the status of forma under C. sinensis var. calvescens.
[C. willmottiae] This is included by Morley and Chao in the typical part of C. sinensis.