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A deciduous shrub 12 to 20 ft high; young stems brown and at first furnished with scattered down, afterwards glabrous. Leaves opposite, varying from elliptic-ovate to orbicular-ovate, heart-shaped or rounded at the base, contracted to a slender point at the apex; 21⁄2 to 4 in. long, 11⁄4 to 31⁄2 in. wide; dull green and softly downy above, grey-white with a thicker softer down beneath; veins reddish, in six to nine pairs; stalk 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 in. long. Flowers produced in June in a terminal cymose inflorescence 3 to 5 in. across, branched mostly thrice; each flower is about 1⁄2 in. wide; petals oblong-lanceolate, pointed; the flower-stalks, calyx, and outside the petals very downy. Fruit black, globose, 1⁄4 in. wide.
Native of Yunnan, where it was discovered by Père Monbeig; introduced by Forrest from the Mekong-Salween divide in 1917. It is one of a large group of cornels of no particular merit from a garden point of view and is perhaps, better suited for thin woodland rather than the garden proper.
† C. poliophylla Schneid. & Wanger. – Allied to C. monbeigii, with leaves 4 to 5 in. long, rounded at the base, covered beneath with dull white hairs (in C. monbeigii the indumentum is fairly lustrous owing to the silkiness of the hairs). A native of western China; introduced by Wilson to the Arnold Arboretum, Massachusetts, in 1908, but to Kew only in 1970, from the Kornik Arboretum, Poland.