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Dwarf shrub, to 0.6 m; leaf bud scales persistent. Leaves 0.9-1.5 x 0.5-0.8 cm, elliptic, apex rounded with a conspicuous mucro, lower surface with 2-3 tiers of dense overlapping scales the upper tiers brown or pale brown, the lowest pale, golden yellow. Flowers 5-12, in a dense racemose umbel; calyx lobes c.3 mm; corolla whitish to yellow, hypocrateriform, tube c.8 mm, scaly and puberulent outside, densely pilose within, lobes c.6 mm; stamens 5; ovary scaly. Flowering April-June. Royal Horticultural Society (1997)
Distribution China Sichuan
Habitat 3,000-3,600 m
RHS Hardiness Rating H6
Awards AM 1923 (Lady Aberconway and Hon. H.D. McLaren, Bodnant); flowers pale yellow. AM 1966 (E.H.M. & PA. Cox, Glendoick Gardens Ltd, Perth) to a clone 'Whitebait'; flowers pale Primrose Yellow. AGM 1993
Conservation status Near threatened (NT)
Taxonomic note A distinctive species that apparently has a restricted distribution in the wild. Royal Horticultural Society (1997)
A low evergreen shrub up to 2 ft high and 3 ft or more across, with numerous erect branches which, when young, are covered with down and dark scurf. Leaves aromatic when crushed, oval, 1⁄3 to 2⁄3 in. long, half as much wide; dark glossy green and soon glabrous above, very scurfy beneath; leaf-stalk about 1⁄8 in. long. Flowers produced in May, six to twelve together in a loose terminal cluster, each bloom on a stalk 1⁄5 to 3⁄8 in. long, thickly covered with yellowish scurf. Calyx about 1⁄8 in. long or shorter. Corolla pale yellow, 1⁄2 in. long and wide, the base a cylindrical tube hairy inside, spreading at the mouth into five lobes, scaly outside. Stamens five, glabrous, hidden in the corolla-tube. Ovary scaly; style shorter than the stamens. Bot. Mag., t. 8871 (s. Anthopogon)
Native of W. Szechwan in the Mupin area; discovered and introduced by Wilson in 1903-4 for Messrs Veitch, and again during his second expedition for the Arnold Arboretum. It grows at 11,000 to 13,000 ft, on rocks or cliffs, or forming heaths. It is a charming shrub of dwarf, compact habit, but does not flower very freely. It is very hardy. An Award of Merit was given to it in 1923 when shown from Bodnant on May 8 by Lady Aberconway and the Hon. H. D. McLaren.