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A genus of deciduous shrubs containing about ten species, three of which are native of N. America, the rest of N.E. Asia. They have alternate leaves without teeth and are often clustered at the end of the twig. Flowers in terminal clusters, the parts in fours or fives; corolla bell-shaped, urn-shaped, or cylindrical with the stamens enclosed; calyx and flower-stalks usually bristly. They succeed under the same treatment as rhododendrons but enjoy more sunshine; a moist, well-drained, lime-free, loamy or peaty soil suits them. The Japanese species grow slowly and are quite suitable for the large rock garden.
The name commemorates Archibald Menzies, who served as surgeon-botanist on Vancouver’s great expedition of survey, 1790-5, during which he discovered and introduced many plants – a western North American species of Menziesia among them.