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An evergreen shrub up to 6 ft high, increasing by sucker growths from the base; young shoots minutely downy. Leaves narrowly lanceolate to oblong-lanceolate, slenderly pointed, wedge-shaped at the base, 2 to 31⁄2 in. long, 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 in. wide, bright green and quite glabrous; stalk about 1⁄4 in. long. Flowers small, fragrant, unisexual, white, crowded in the leaf-axils; styles three; fruit nearly globose, 1⁄4 in. wide, black. Flowers in late autumn.
A native of the eastern Himalaya, N. Assam and S.E.Tibet. Although introduced in the last century, it is less common now than its Chinese variety and rather less hardy. It received an Award of Merit when shown from Bodnant in 1936.
var. humilis Rehd. & Wils. S. humilis (Rehd. & Wils.) Stapf – See S. humilis, page 328. The original varietal status is accepted by Mr Sealy.