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An evergreen, partially evergreen, or deciduous bush 6 to 8 ft high, glabrous except for the bristly margins of the young leaves and sometimes the midrib Leaves oval, rather stiff and leathery, 1 to 2 in. long, two-thirds as wide, broadly wedge-shaped at both ends, but terminated by a short bristle-like tip, and bristly on the margins when young, dark dull green above, rather glaucous beneath; stalk 1⁄8 in. or less long. Flowers produced from December to March in several pairs at the joints, creamy white, very fragrant, 5⁄8 in. long; stalk glabrous, 1⁄4 in. long. Bot. Mag., t. 8585.
Native of China; introduced by Fortune in 1845. This is not a showy plant, but is valued in gardens for its early, charmingly fragrant blossoms. It varies from deciduous to evergreen according to the severity of the winter, but is rarely devoid of foliage. Often confused with L. standishii, it is, nevertheless, very distinct in the absence of bristles on the young shoots, flower-stalks, and corolla; the leaf, too, is shorter, and the apex is not drawn out as in L. standishii. L. fragrantissima, which is the superior shrub, starts to grow very early in the year. Both are distinct in their early flowering from all the rest of the honeysuckles.