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A low, deciduous shrub with glabrous shoots and leaves, the latter oblanceolate or narrowly oblong, pointed, 11⁄2 to 21⁄2 in. long, 3⁄8 to 5⁄8 in. wide, glabrous. Flowers only slightly scented, usually five to ten in a terminal cluster; white, 1⁄2 in. in diameter, downy outside; perianth segments reflexed; ovary glabrous; fruit red.
Native of the Altai Mountains; discovered about 1780. It is closely allied to D. caucasica, but is considered to differ in having a looser, less silky down on the corolla-tube. As represented in cultivation, D. altaica has larger, more pointed leaves, fewer flowers on an average in the cluster, and does not produce a crowd of short flowering twigs from the previous year’s shoot, as does D. caucasica. The two, however, are probably geographical forms of the one species, to which D. sophia (q.v.) also belongs. Another close ally is:
D. longilobata – Although mentioned under D. altaica in the main work, this species is considered by Brickell and Mathew to be more closely allied to D. acutiloba.
D. altaica var. longilobata Lecomte