A dwarf evergreen shrub up to 12 or 15 in. high, with slender, erect, angled branches. Leaves produced occasionally in pairs, but usually three at each joint; 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 in. long, linear, with the margins curled under; stalkless. Flowers in an erect panicle, producing three cymes in each tier; each flower 1⁄2 to J in. across, pale golden yellow; sepals small, oblong, with black glands on the margin. Fruit a three-celled capsule 1⁄4 in. long, with the spreading sepals attached at the base. Bot. Mag., t. 6764.
Native of Greece and the islands of the Grecian Archipelago; introduced to the Hammersmith nursery of Messrs Lee in 1788. It is a rather tender plant, and will survive only our mildest winters without protection. But for the warmer counties few more charming dwarf shrubs could be found. Even in cooler districts it is well worth the little protection it requires. Flowers from late July to September.
var. oliganthum Rech. f. H. e. var. tortuosum Rech. f.; H. e. var. prostratum Hort. – Habit procumbent. Inflorescences fewer-flowered than in the typical state of the species. It occurs in the mountains of Crete. An almost prostrate example of this variety, with the flowers mostly borne singly at the ends of the shoots, is figured in New Flora and Sylva, Vol. 10, facing p. 59. It is also figured in Sibthorp and Smith, Fl. Graeca, Vol. 8 (1833), t. 774.