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A deciduous shrub 3 to 6 ft high, with angled young shoots. Leaves lanceolate to narrowly ovate or obovate, entire, pointed, tapered at the base to a short stalk, upper surface dark dull green and glabrous except along the midrib, lower surface pale green and glabrous except for copious white hairs on the midrib and base of the veins, chief veins in two or three pairs. Flowers borne on erect panicles 2 to 6 in. high, starting to open in July and continuing until September. They are terminal on the young leafy shoots. The flowers are white, tinged with pink, and have three (occasionally four or five) linear-oblong petals 3⁄8 in. long; calyx cup-shaped; style slender, 3⁄8 in. long, glabrous, standing out horizontally well beyond the petals. The bracts on the flower-stalks are small and linear.
Native of the mountains of Japan from Hokkaido southward; described in 1843 and introduced to Britain towards the end of the last century. It is a perfectly hardy shrub, growing well in the sort of soil that suits rhododendrons and a lightly shaded, protected position. In the form mentioned in previous editions the flowers apparently only had a pink flush, but in a later introduction they are a uniform light pink and very pretty. The three strap-shaped rather raggedly arranged petals give to the flowers of this species an informal appearance unusual in the Ericaceae and is in sharp contrast to the conventional urn-shaped, tubular or campanulate corolla of so many members of the family.