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Abelia uniflora R. Br.

Modern name

Abelia uniflora R. Br.

An evergreen shrub of spreading habit, 5 or 6 ft high, ultimately with arching branches; shoots slender, minutely downy when young. Leaves ovate, often with long, tapered points, rounded or tapered at the base, sparsely and shallowly toothed; 1 to 2 in. long, 12 to 1 in. wide; dark glossy green and glabrous above, paler beneath and downy on the midrib. Flowers solitary, in pairs, or in threes in the terminal leaf-axils, produced from June onwards. Corolla white, blush-tinted, with orange markings in the throat; 1 in. long and the same in width across the mouth, where are five ovate lobes; it has much the shape of a miniature foxglove. Calyx of usually two sepals, persistent. Bot. Mag., t. 4694.

Native of China; introduced by Fortune in 1845. It is one of the parents of A. × grandiflora, which owes to this species its hardiness and the brilliant green of its leaves, and which appears to have displaced it in gardens. It is no longer grown at Kew and seems to be quite lost to cultivation in this country but might still be found on the continent. It can be distinguished from A. × grandiflora by its larger corollas, marked orange in the throat, and by its calyx, which rarely has more than two sepals. A. uniflora was hardy in the south of England in all but the severest winters. Its flowers are the largest of the cultivated species, and being abundantly produced make a very pretty display.

From the Supplement (Vol. V)

It is uncertain whether this species is still in cultivation, its hybrid with A. chinensis – A. × grandiflora – being hardier and more ornamental. It is no longer in the Kew collection.



Other species in the genus