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Although usually classed as herbaceous, this species is a parent of three hybrids described in this work and therefore deserves mention. It is an erect, non-climbing herbaceous plant, sometimes becoming woody at the base, growing to about 4 ft high. Leaves stalkless, entire, ovate, up to 31⁄2 in. long and 2 in. wide, glabrous on both sides or slightly downy beneath. Flowers nodding, violet or blue, more rarely white, borne June to August singly, more rarely in twos or threes, at the ends of the shoots; pedicels about 11⁄2 in. long; sepals spreading, pointed at the apex, wavy and recurved at the margins, about 1 in. long.
A native mainly of the lower Danube basin, S.W. Russia (including the Caucasus) and Central Asia, long cultivated in gardens and of interest as the only European member of the section Viorna, with its nearest allies in N. America. It is a parent of the hybrids C. × aromatica (with C. flammula), C. × eriostemon (with C. viticella) and C. × durandii (probably with C. × jackmanii).