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An evergreen shrub or small tree up to 18 ft high; young shoots angular, downy. Leaves oblong, inclined to oval, 1⁄2 to 11⁄4 in. long, 1⁄8 to 3⁄8 in. wide, pinnately veined, apex blunt or rounded, rounded to tapered at the base, indistinctly toothed, cobwebby beneath; stalk quite short. Flowers blue, borne in simple or branched, downy panicles sparsely leafy at the base, up to 3 or 5 in. long, 1 to 2 in. wide, opening in late May and June. Capsules 1⁄6 in. wide, globose, glabrous.
Native of California; apparently first collected by William Lobb in 1857. It is a fine, free-growing species, flowering very abundantly, and was given an Award of Merit when shown by Kew in 1944. It is quite hardy there as a wall plant, but needs good cultivation if it is to be seen at its best. Propagation by cuttings is not so easy as with other species and cuttings from a stock plant grown under glass will provide the best results.