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A prostrate evergreen shrub forming wide, dense mats at high altitudes, glabrous in all its parts. Leaves dull green, leathery, densely set on the shoots, obovate to elliptic, rounded at the apex up to 5⁄8 in. long and half as wide; stalks very short. Flowers inconspicuous, in small clusters. Fruits bright red, globose, about 3⁄16 in. across, borne singly or in clusters of two or three.
Native of the Himalaya from Sikkim eastward, S.E. Tibet, N.E. Upper Burma, and Yunnan; the date of introduction is not certain but seeds were sent home by Kingdon Ward in 1931 from Upper Burma, where he found it growing beneath rhododendron bushes in the upper Abies forest and remarked in his field note, ‘One of the most fascinating of Alpine hollies.’
The western limit of this species is in Nepal, not Sikkim, as stated in the original impression.
I. oblata (W. E. Evans) Comber
I. intricata var. oblata W. E. Evans