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A deciduous shrub 4 to 7 ft high, of bushy, rounded habit, and usually more in diameter than it is high; branches stout, stiff, very pithy, covered with a bright brown, downy bark, which afterwards peels off in papery flakes. Leaves opposite, on the barren shoots ovate, 1 to 3 in. long, 3⁄4 to 2 in. wide, coarsely and regularly toothed, with scattered, flattened hairs above, downy, almost felted beneath; on the flowering twigs the leaves are much smaller, and often of more oval outline; stalk downy, 1⁄4 to 3⁄4 in. long. Flowers slightly fragrant, pure white, 1⁄2 in. across, produced during May in erect, terminal pyramidal panicles 1 to 21⁄2 in. long and broad. Petals five, oblong. Calyx woolly, with five ovate acute lobes. Stamens ten. Styles three to five, united only at the base. Fruit a capsule. Bot. Mag., t. 6142.
Native of western North America; introduced to Kew in 1862. This interesting and pretty shrub can be propagated by cuttings and, given a sunny position, and an open, not too rich soil, thrives excellently. A plant with pink flowers, found by Purpus in Nevada, has been named f. rosea (Rehd.) Rehd.