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This species is mainly represented in cultivation by the following subspecies, at present generally known in gardens as S. neapolitana:
subsp. neapolitana (Jord. & Fourr.) Guinea S. neapolitana Jord. & Fourr. in Ic. Fl. Europ. 2: 10, tab. 228 (1869); S. italica Hort.; S. rosmarinifolia Hort., not L. – An evergreen, rather pleasantly scented shrub 2 to 21⁄2 ft high, producing a closely packed crowd of erect, slender branches covered with white felt. Leaves 1 to 2 in. long, 1⁄8 to 1⁄4 in. wide, either pinnate or with leaflets superposed in four rows, the leaflets (or perhaps better termed ‘leaf-segments’) are 1⁄12 to 1⁄4 in. long, cylindrical, round-ended, 1⁄36 in. in diameter, covered with white down on the young non-flowering shoots, green and less downy on the flowering ones. Flowers bright yellow, borne in a compact, circular, cushion-shaped head, 3⁄4 in. wide, in July, each head on a slender erect stalk 3 to 6 in. long, from six to twelve heads being produced at or near the end of each shoot.
Native of S. Italy. This attractive shrub, often grown wrongly as “S. rosmarinifolia”, differs from S. chamaecyparissus by the longer leaves and by the longer, more slender segments of the leaf. It makes a bright display when in flower. It should be grown in full sunshine and is better in rather poor soil than in rich, the foliage being whiter and the growths sturdier and less liable to fall apart, thus leaving the centre of the plant open and unsightly. Pruned plants produce shoots which are at first quite green.