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An evergreen decumbent plant 1 to 3 ft high, with purplish black shoots that have two opposite vertical strips of down proceeding upwards from each pair of leaf-axils. Leaves usually closely set on the branches, mostly oval or inclined to oblong or obovate, 1⁄3 to 3⁄4 in. long, about half as much wide, of thick, rather fleshy texture, quite glabrous, dark green, red on the margins. Flowers densely packed in two or four racemes near the end of the shoot, each 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 in. long; main flower-stalk downy; bracts and flower-stalks very short. Corolla white, 1⁄4 in. wide, four-lobed, lobes oblong and blunt, the tube twice as long as the calyx; calyx-lobes edged with minute down.
Native of the South Island of New Zealand, up to 4,500 ft. Cheeseman, the New Zealand botanist, described it as a very beautiful plant well distinguished from its allies by the polished purplish black young shoots, red margins to the leaves, shortly stalked flowers and long corolla-tube. It is one of the hardiest species and flowers during July and August.