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A medium-sized or tall evergreen tree with a conical head of branches; young shoots covered with a close, greyish down. Leaves leathery, oblanceolate to oblong, narrowed at the apex to a short point, tapered at the base; 6 in. to 1 ft long, 11⁄2 to 31⁄2 in. wide, dark glossy green above, paler but also glossy beneath, quite glabrous but finely and distinctly net-veined; stalk 1⁄2 to 11⁄8 in. long. Flowers solitary, terminal, 4 in. wide; sepals three, oblong, blunt, cream-coloured; petals nine, white. Fruits ovoid or almost globose, 21⁄2 in. long.
Native of Upper Burma at 5,000 to 6,000 ft and of Yunnan at 9,000 ft altitude. It was originally discovered in 1909 by Mr Cubitt in the former country and later by Forrest in Yunnan. The tree is said to yield a timber highly valued by the Burmese. Most or all of the plants in cultivation have been raised from Forrest’s seeds, and they are growing vigorously in Cornish gardens, being already handsome and striking evergreens.
There is a specimen at Caerhays, Cornwall, measuring 43 × 41⁄4 ft at 51⁄2 ft, with a clear bole of 14 ft (1966).
The specimen at Caerhays, Cornwall, measures 56 × 51⁄4 ft (1975).