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A deciduous shrub usually 4 to 12 ft high, occasionally a small tree, branches in whorls; young shoots glabrous, reddish. Leaves produced in a cluster at the the end of the twig, or alternate on strong growths; obovate to oval, tapered more gradually towards the base, finely toothed, 1 to 21⁄2 in. long, 1⁄2 to 11⁄4 in. wide, hairy on the veins of both surfaces, dull green; stalk 1⁄8 to 5⁄8 in. long. Flowers produced during May from the terminal bud of the previous year’s growth in a hairy raceme sometimes almost reduced to an umbel. Corolla bell-shaped, 1⁄3 in. long, pendulous, with five rounded lobes, pale creamy yellow, veined and tipped with red; calyx with five lanceolate, pointed divisions 1⁄6 in. long; stamens very short; flower-stalk downy, 1⁄2 to 1 in. long. Ovary and style glabrous. Seed-vessel egg-shaped, 3⁄4 in. long.
Native of Japan; introduced in 1880, by Maries, for Messrs Veitch. This is the most satisfactory of the species of Enkianthus in our gardens, being quite hardy and flowering freely. It is sometimes cut by late frost. In the Arnold Arboretum, Mass., where the frosts are much more severe than ours, it succeeds remarkably well. The leaves turn golden and red in autumn.
† var. sikokianus Palib. E. sikokianus (Palib.) Ohwi – Leaves of a more broadly obovate shape than in the typical variety; corolla broad-campanulate, red. Native of Japan in Shikoku and one district of the main island.
E. pallidiflorus Craib
E. matsudae Komatsu
E. palibinii (Bean) Craib
E. rubicundus Matsumura & Nakai