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A deciduous, sucker-producing shrub of loose, lax habit, growing up to 8 or 10 ft high and developing graceful arching shoots which when young are distinctly angled and downy at the angles. Leaves simple and entire, ovate-lanceolate, pointed, mostly tapered (but sometimes rounded) at the base; very variable in size, the largest 2 to 21⁄2 in. long by 3⁄4 to 1 in. wide, the smallest scarcely 1⁄2 in. long, downy on the margins; stalk 1⁄12 to 1⁄4 in. long. Flowers produced in short racemes ordinarily of two to seven blossoms, the main-stalk 1⁄8 to 1⁄2 in. long and downy, the individual flower-stalks up to 1 in. long, very slender and glabrous. Each flower is about 1⁄2 in. wide, pale mauve, white or lavender, with which the cluster of erect yellow stamens is in good contrast. Fruit globose, 1⁄4 in. wide and of a “dullish slightly translucent olive green.” (Comber.) Bot. Mag., t. 9552.
Native of Chile and bordering Argentina from about 38; S. to 43; S.; known to botanists since about 1830, but probably not introduced until H. F. Comber sent seeds from near San Martin de los Andes, Argentina, in 1927. The leaves are not much developed at flowering time (May) and the long sprays, thickly wreathed with blossom, are then very handsome. According to Comber the aim in pruning should be to encourage the growth of long summer shoots which will flower the following spring. Worn out and weedy growths should be removed as soon as the flowering is over. Comber found it growing in ‘moist sunny meadows.’ He considered that unless the climate is sufficiently sunny and mild to ripen and preserve the long summer shoots through the winter it will scarcely be worth growing. Still, I have seen it flowering in several places in the south and thought it quite attractive. The sunniest possible spot should be chosen for it.