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A low evergreen shrub forming a dense, rounded tuft, and spreading by underground stems but sometimes erect and up to 6 ft high; branchlets clothed with minute down, with which are intermixed long bristles. Leaves of hard texture, 11⁄2 to 31⁄2 in. long, half as wide, oblong or slightly obovate, rounded or broadly tapered at the base, abruptly narrowed at the apex to a short glandular tip, shallowly toothed, the teeth often bristle-tipped, upper surface much wrinkled, dark glossy green, conspicuously net-veined, without down, lower surface at first furnished with bristles which partially fall away, leaving it harsh to the touch; stalk 1⁄12 to 1⁄8 in. long. Flowers densely packed in axillary racemes, 1 in. or more long, white. Corolla 1⁄6 in. long, nodding, narrowed from the base to the mouth; calyx-lobes lanceolate to ovate, usually acute or acuminate; main-stalk downy, each flower produced in the axil of an ovate, membranous more or less ciliated bract 1⁄4 in. long; the short glabrous flower-stalk is also furnished with bracts partially hiding the flower. Fruits indigo-blue, about the size of a small pea. Bot. Mag., t. 9174.
The type of G. hookeri comes from Sikkim, but the species, as now understood, has a wide range, through the eastern Himalaya to W. China. The first recorded introduction was by Wilson in 1907 from W. Szechwan. The plants of this origin have the low, tufted habit as described above and are quite hardy. They were long known as G. veitchiana, but the characters used to separate this species from G. hookeri are not constant. The species may also be in cultivation from Kingdon Ward’s No. 7552, collected in Upper Burma in 1926.