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Vaccinium urceolatum Hemsl.

Modern name

Vaccinium urceolatum Hemsl.

An evergreen bush up to 6 ft high in its wild state; young shoots at first covered thickly with fine down. Leaves of firm, leathery texture, ovate-oblong, narrowed at the apex to a long fine point, rounded at the base, not toothed, 2 to 4 in. long, 1 to 212 in. wide, dark green, downy only when quite young; veins very deeply impressed on the upper surface; stalk very short, about 112 in. long. Flowers in racemes 1 to 112 in. long, springing from the leaf-axils in June. Corolla urn-shaped, 14 in. long, pink; calyx-lobes triangular; stamens with slightly exposed anthers, their stalks downy. Fruits black, globose, 14 in. wide.

Native of W. China; first discovered about 1887 on Mt Omei, in Szechwan by the Rev. E. Faber. Wilson found it on the same mountain in 1904 when collecting for Messrs Veitch and on Wa-shan in 1908. Introduced to Kew from Messrs Vilmorin of Paris in 1923. It is scarcely hardy enough to grow really well at Kew, but it succeeds well in Cornwall. Wilson observes that it is partial to sandstone boulders. It is more notable perhaps for its striking evergreen foliage than for any beauty of blossom.



Other species in the genus