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A stoutly branched, glabrous, summer-deciduous shrub. Leaves produced in autumn and shed the following summer, up to 3 in. long and 11⁄4 in. wide, oblanceolate with a cuneate base, almost sessile, glossy above. Flowers pale to deep yellow in mostly terminal clusters; tube funnel-shaped; lobes ovate, about 1⁄4 in. long, on cultivated plants opening in November and December, sometimes later, but on wild plants in early to late spring. Fruits red. Bot. Mag., n.s., t.613.
A native of northern Japan; discovered and named by Maximowicz, but first described by Regel in 1866 from a cultivated plant; introduced to Britain by H. Money-Coutts, who distributed seedlings raised from seeds collected in northern Honshu. Both its foliage and flowers are moderately frost-resistant, and the plant itself is hardy. Unlike most daphnes, it is intolerant of chalky soils.
For further details see Brickell and Mathew, op. cit., pp. 119-22 and the latter’s article accompanying the plate in the Botanical Magazine.