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Abelia serrata Sieb. & Zucc.

Modern name

Diabelia serrata (Siebold & Zucc.) Landrein

A deciduous shrub 3 to 5 ft high; young shoots very slender and minutely downy. Leaves ovate to ovate-lanceolate, sparsely toothed or not at all, tapered to a bluntish apex, wedge-shaped at the base; 12 to 134 in. long, 14 to 58 in. wide; hairy on the midrib and with scattered hairs above, glabrous beneath except towards the base of the midrib. Flowers usually in pairs terminating short leafy twigs, opening in May and June. Corolla funnel-shaped, 12 to 58 in. long, tapered to a slender tube at the base, hairy outside, dullish white, sometimes yellowish or flesh-coloured. Sepals two.

Native of Japan; introduced by Charles Maries in 1879 from Mt Fuji, where he found it at altitudes of 2,000 ft and upwards. It is a widespread shrub in the main island of Japan and variable in such characters as the indumentum and toothing of the leaf. Of the varieties that have been described the most important is var. buchwaldii (Graebn.) Nakai, which has also been regarded as a distinct species. It has longer leaves than in the type and the flowers are over 1 in. long.

The plants from Maries’ introduction seem to have been of little worth; in previous editions of this work they were described as small-flowered and unattractive. But the description of var. buchwaldii suggests that there are better forms still to be introduced.

From the Supplement (Vol. V)

† var. buchwaldii (Graebn.) Nakai Linnaea buchwaldii Graebn.; A. buchwaldii (Graebn.) Rehd. – Flowers much larger than in typical A. serrata, 1 to 114 in. long; leaves also larger. Native of Japan.



Other species in the genus