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An evergreen shrub 6 to 12 in. high, of compact, tufted habit; young shoots minutely downy. Leaves 1⁄4 to 3⁄4 in. long, about half as wide, oval or slightly obovate, pointed, cuneate at the base, dark green and densely dotted with glistening, sunken glandular scales beneath. Flowers axillary and terminal, each on a slender, glandular, hairy stalk 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 in. long, forming erect clusters of about ten, 1 to 2 in. long. Corolla open bell-shaped, 1⁄2 to 5⁄8 in. wide, rosy-red tinged purple, five-lobed; calyx also five-lobed, the lobes 1⁄8 in. long, pointed, rosy; stamens ten, packed in the mouth of the corolla, the base of each fringed with hairs.
K. leachiana is a rare species in the wild, occurring in a few scattered localities in the mountains of Oregon, USA. It was discovered by Mr and Mrs Leach in 1930 in the Siskiyous, and introduced to Britain a few years later. The late Mrs Anley showed it at the R.H.S. Hall on 23 March 1937, when it received an Award of Merit. Later the species was found again by M. le Piniec in the upper reaches of the Rogue River in S. Oregon. There are plants in the R.H.S. Garden at Wisley raised from seeds collected in another new locality by Brian Mulligan, Director of the Washington Arboretum, and others from wild seeds collected by Carl English Jun. Mr Mulligan tells us that, in the wild, this species is often found on bare, sunny slopes.
For an interesting account of this species in the valley of the North Umpqua river in Douglas County, Oregon, see the article by Brian Mulligan in Bull. Alp. Gard. Soc., Vol. 41, pp. 132-4 (1973). In this area the inflorescence is condensed, against racemose in the type-locality in Curry County.