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A shrub 4 to 6 ft or slightly more high; branches arching or spreading. Stems yellow-brown, soon terete, but four-angled when young. Leaves arranged in one plane, shortly stalked, 1 to 33⁄8 in. long, 3⁄8 to 13⁄8 n. wide, elliptic-oblong to ovatelanceolate or oblong-lanceolate, obtuse to rounded, sometimes apiculate at the apex, cuneate at the base, of papery texture. Inflorescence one- to three-flowered. Flower-buds ovoid, obtuse. Flowers mostly 2 to 25⁄8 in. wide, shallowly cup-shaped, golden yellow. Sepals erect in bud and fruit, ovate to oblong-ovate or oblong-spathulate, acute to rounded, sometimes apiculate at the apex, with a distinct midrib. Petals broad-obovate to almost orbicular, with a rounded, lateral apiculus. Stamens slightly less than half as long as the petals; anthers yellow. Styles three-quarters as long to as long as the ovary.
This species, described in 1985, is apparently confined to north-west Yunnan, where it was collected by Forrest and probably introduced by him. According to Dr Robson, it is fairly widespread in cultivation, and represented in the R.H.S. Garden at Wisley and in the Hillier Arboretum. It has been confused with H. leschenaultii, from which it differs in its spreading habit, its chartaceous leaves, in the erect posture of the sepals and their shape (in H. leschenaultii they are spreading to recurved in bud and fruit, narrow-oblong to narrow-elliptic). It has also been confused with H. beanii, differing in its spreading habit, in its more slender, soon terete stems, and the mostly larger flowers with much shorter stamens (Robson, op. cit. (1985), pp. 252-5 and fig. 17).