A dwarf evergreen shrub 1 to 2 ft high, its slender erect stems being thickly clothed with leaves, six to ten to the inch. Leaves linear, pointed, tapered to the short stalk, not toothed; 1⁄3 to 3⁄4 in. long, 1⁄8 in. or less wide; dark glossy green and smooth above, pale and dotted with translucent glands beneath; margins hairy, sometimes decurved. Flowers the size of half a crown, produced singly at the end of the shoots, several of which occur through branching near the summit; petals five, spreading, roundish-obovate, pure white with a streak of red down the middle of each; calyx of five sepals of the same size and shape as the leaves; their purplish-red colour adds to the beauty of the flower by showing in the gaps between the petals. Stamens ten; five fertile, five abortive. Bot. Mag., t. 273.
Native of South Africa; originally introduced to Kew by Francis Masson in 1775. It is only hardy in the very mildest parts of the country; such as the rectory garden at Ludgvan, near Penzance, where it succeeded admirably and was made one of the features of the flower show at Truro in April or May. At the present time it thrives at Tresco Abbey in the Isles of Scilly and is also grown outdoors at Trengwainton, near Penzance. Except in such very favoured localities this delightful shrub would almost certainly succumb to winter cold or wet, and should, if attempted, be placed at the foot of a sheltered sunny wall.