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An evergreen shrub of low, spreading, or even prostrate habit, rarely more than 2 to 3 ft high unless trained. Branches often slender but rigid, woolly when young. Leaves 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 in. long, half or less than half as wide; ovate or obovate, deep glossy green above, grey and woolly beneath, pointed, rounded or notched at the apex. Flowers white, 1⁄3 in. across, generally solitary (occasionally two or three). Fruit round, scarlet-red, 1⁄4 in. in diameter.
Native of the Himalaya and S.W. China; introduced in 1824. This pleasing evergreen is a near relation of C. prostratus and of C. conspicuus. The former is, however, a more robust shrub with larger, broadly ovate to almost rounded leaves and a usually two- or three-flowered inflorescence. The latter (treated by Yü as a variety of the present species) may be distinguished by its narrow elliptic to oblong leaves, and the larger flowers and fruit. Another close ally is C. congestus (q.v. for the marks of distinction).
C. microphyllus makes a pretty covering for sloping banks, forming eventually a dense, low thicket, though a really prostrate form of the more recently introduced C. conspicuus is to be preferred. Single plants make a pretty evergreen furnishing for the rock garden, but where space is limited var. thymifolius or C. congestus are more suitable.
C. buxifolius f. melanotrichus Franch
C. buxifolius f. cochleatus- Franch. C. cochleatus (Franch.) Klotz
C. thymifolius Lindl