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A deciduous or partly evergreen shrub, 4 to 6 ft high, of wide-spreading, graceful habit, producing a thicket of erect and outwardly arching stems; young stems glabrous. Leaves lozenge-shaped, 1 to 21⁄2 in. long, 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 in. wide, deeply and irregularly toothed (sometimes almost lobed) on the upper part, green and quite glabrous on both sides, with a glaucous tinge especially beneath; stalk slender, 1⁄4 to 1⁄3 in. long. Flowers white, 1⁄3 in. across, produced during June in hemispherical corymbs 1 to 2 in. across, each corymb on a leafy stalk 1 to 2 in. long.
Native of China. This shrub is scarcely known in gardens except in its double-flowered state, ‘Flore Pleno’ (‘Lanceata’), in which the many-petalled blossoms are nearly 1⁄2 in. across; when freely borne they make a charming display. In the gardens of the south of France, Italy, and Dalmatia this double-flowered form is perhaps the most beautiful white-flowered shrub in April, its long sprays arching in every direction and laden with blossom. But in the Thames Valley it is rarely seen to perfection owing to injury by spring frosts. It can be got in better condition on a wall. Nearly allied to this species is S. chinensis (q.v.), also with fragrant white flowers in corymbs, but readily recognised by the yellowish felted under-surface of its leaves. It is spring-tender.