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A deciduous shrub of rounded, bushy form up to 10 ft high, with glabrous branchlets. Leaves narrowly obovate, 11⁄2 to 3 in. long, about one-third as wide, short-pointed or rounded at the apex, tapering at the base, quite glabrous, the margin entire, or toothed towards the apex. Flowers pure white, 11⁄4 to 11⁄2 in. across, produced on erect racemes 3 to 4 in. long; petals five, obovate; calyx 1⁄2 in. across, with five rounded lobes. Stamens fifteen or twenty-five, in five groups of three or five each. Fruit composed of five flattened, two-edged, bony divisions, each 1⁄3 in. long, arranged starwise. Bot. Mag., t. 4795.
Native of N. China; introduced by Fortune about 1849. It flowers in May, and even at that season is one of the most strikingly beautiful of shrubs. The white racemes are produced at the end of short lateral twigs from the branches of the previous year, and thus transform each branch into one huge snow-white inflorescence, sometimes 12 to 18 in. long and 8 to 10 in. wide. In order to obtain these fine sprays the shrubs, as soon as they have flowered, should be thinned out; the young shoots should be much reduced in number by weeding out all the weaker ones, especially where they are likely to be overcrowded.