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A genus of some four or five species of evergreen shrubs inhabiting the dry regions of North Mexico and the adjacent States of N. America. It was originally named by David Don in honour of James Cowan, a merchant who interested himself in the introduction of new plants, especially from Mexico and Peru. He died at Lima in 1823. Cowania belongs to the same group of the Rose family as Fallugia and Cercocarpus, distinguished by remarkable feathered styles terminating the seed-vessel similar to those that are so common in Clematis.