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An evergreen shrub with arching branches growing to 5 ft high, sometimes procumbent or prostrate; stems hairy at first, later glabrous. Leaves arranged spirally on the stem, oval or obovate to roundish, 1⁄2 to 4⁄5 in. long, dark green and usually glabrous above, sparingly hairy beneath, sometimes rounded at the apex, sometimes with a short, abrupt point; stalk 1⁄4 in. or less long. Flowers white, produced in clusters, usually two or three together, more rarely singly. Fruit red, rounded, 1⁄4 in. or a little more in diameter, with two nutlets.
Native of the Himalaya from Kashmir eastwards; and of S.W. China; introduced, according to Loudon, in 1825. It is allied to C. microphyllus but differs in its larger, broadly ovate to roundish leaves and usually two- to three-flowered inflorescence, and makes a larger, more robust plant.
The name C. rotundifolius Lindl. admits of two interpretations. It is, in the majority of modern works, taken to refer to the species described here, which is an ally of C. microphyllus. But in previous editions of this work and, until recently, in the trade it was used for the species now more generally known as C. distichus, which is an ally of C. horizontalis and belongs to quite another section of the genus. Neither interpretation is indisputably correct or incorrect and, in view of this doubt, it seems better to reject the name C. rotundifolius as ambiguous. A note on this matter will be published elsewhere.
In the footnote on page 754 it was remarked that the name C. rotundifolius Lindl. has been applied to C. distichus (nitidus), as well as to the species described under the present heading. However, it is generally agreed that it belongs to the latter, and its misuse for the former, first by Baker and then by other authors, is not a sufficient reason for rejecting the name as ambiguous.
C. rotundifolius var. lanatus (Jacques) Schneid.
C. lanatus Jacques
C. buxifolius Baker, not Lindl.
C wheeleri Hort