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Neillia sinensis Oliver

Modern name

Neillia sinensis Oliv.

A deciduous shrub 5 or 6 ft high, with glabrous, brown, peeling bark. Leaves ovate, 2 to 4 in. long, 114 to 212 in. wide, the apex long drawn out, the margins set with coarse teeth or small lobes which are again sharply toothed; there is down on the main veins and in their axils at first, but both surfaces become almost or quite glabrous. Flowers nodding, produced in a slender, terminal raceme 1 to 212 in. long, carrying twelve to twenty flowers; pedicels 18 to 516 in. long. The main feature of the flower is the smooth cylindrical white calyx-tube, 12 in. long and 18 in. wide, dividing at the end into five narrow triangular lobes. Petals small, broadly ovate, about as long as the calyx-lobes.

Native of Central China; discovered by Henry, and introduced to cultivation by Wilson in 1901. It is a shrub of elegant habit allied to N. thibetica but not so decorative, the racemes being usually shorter and fewer-flowered, though the individual flowers are larger.

var. ribesioides (Rehd.) Vidal N. ribesioides Rehd. – Flowers shorter-stalked (pedicels up to 316 in. long), with a shorter calyx-tube (up to 14 in. long). Described by Rehder (as a species) from specimens collected by Wilson in W. Szechwan, and also occurring in Yunnan. The only authentic plant recorded by Dr Cullen (op. cit.) grows in the Liverpool University Botanic Gardens. It is of unknown origin.

Neillia sinensis

Neillia sinensis



Other species in the genus