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A deciduous shrub of densely bushy, rounded habit, ultimately about 4 ft high; branchlets slender but rigid, downy; bark shining brown the first year, peeling and almost black the second. Leaves ovate, pointed, not toothed, 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 in. long, 1⁄4 to 1⁄3 in. wide, bright green and almost glabrous above, grey and covered with pale, appressed hairs beneath; stalk 1⁄16 in. long. Flowers very fragrant, pure white, about 1 in. across; produced in June, usually singly, at the end of lateral branches 1 to 2 in. long, which spring from the joints of the previous year’s shoots.
Native of Colorado, Arizona, etc.; introduced by Prof. Sargent to Britain about 1883. It is quite distinct from all other cultivated species of philadelphus in its small entire leaves and low, compact habit. The leaves on wild plants are much more hairy than with us. The flowers have a strong pineapple-like odour, very pleasant in the open air. Coming from such a hot and sunny climate, it succeeds best in eastern and south-eastern England and tends to be shy-flowering, though quite hardy, in cool gardens.