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A deciduous shrub 2 to 3 ft high, with glabrous, slender young shoots, often produced in tiers. Leaves mostly clustered at the end of the twigs, obovate to oval, tapered towards both ends, usually more abruptly towards the apex, edged with bristle-like hairs and having a few larger bristles on the midrib, otherwise glabrous, 3⁄4 to 3 in. long, 1⁄2 to 11⁄4 in. wide; stalk 1⁄8 in. or less long. Flowers nodding, produced in May in umbel-like clusters at the end of the shoots of the previous year. Corolla between bell-shaped and urn-shaped, 5⁄8 in. long, 1⁄4 in. wide, with four or five small lobes, yellowish green at the base, purplish at and near the lobes; glabrous outside, downy within. Stamens eight or ten, shorter than the corolla, very downy at the lower part. Calyx slightly lobed, fringed with glandular bristles. Flower-stalk 1⁄2 to 11⁄8 in. long, glandular-bristly.
Native of Japan, named by Maximowicz in 1870; introduced about 1914. It is quite a pretty shrub but the var. purpurea (see below) is to be preferred.
† cv. ‘Buchanan’s Dwarf’. – Slow growing and of dwarf, spreading habit. It was distributed by Jack Drake’s nursery and received an Award of Merit in 1983 when exhibited by Barry Starling (Bull. Alp. Gard. Soc., Vol. 51, p. 316 (1983)).
M. lasiophylla Nakai