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Decaisnea fargesii Franch.

Modern name

Decaisnea insignis (Griff.) Hook.f. & Thomson

A deciduous shrub reported to attain 15 ft in the wild state, but already higher in cultivation, consisting of a cluster of erect stems containing abundant pith and distinct in winter for their large, pointed buds; young shoots glabrous, thick. Leaves pinnate, from 2 to 3 ft long, consisting of from 612 to 1212 pairs of leaflets. Leaflets ovate, slender-pointed, entire, 3 to 6 in. long, glaucous beneath, glabrous or nearly so; main-stalk often purplish brown. Flowers produced in a loose drooping panicle 12 to 18 in. long terminating the young growths. Each flower is borne on a slender stalk 34 in. long, the six sepals (petals absent) being erect, narrow lanceolate, finely pointed, 1 to 114 in. long; yellowish green, the upper half curving outwards. Fruit dull blue, cylindrical, 3 to 4 in. long, 34 in. wide, with numerous tiny warts on the surface. Bot. Mag, t. 7848.

This interesting and striking shrub is a native of the mountains of W. China, where it was collected and sent to France by the missionary, Père Farges, in 1895. Two years later it was sent by Maurice de Vilmorin to Kew, where it has proved quite hardy, and where it flowers and produces fruit regularly, but is subject to injury by late spring frosts. It is a handsome foliage plant. It likes a rich loamy soil, and is propagated by seeds.

D. insignis (Griff.) Hook. f. & Thoms. – In foliage and flower this species resembles the preceding but is quite distinct in its golden-yellow fruits. Native of the Himalaya and Yunnan. Probably not hardy. Bot. Mag., t. 6731.



Other species in the genus

[No species article available]