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A slender, tall, deciduous shrub of thin, erect habit, eventually a small tree 15 to 20 ft high; young branches long, slender, rush-like; with scattered down at first, then glabrous. Leaves opposite, few, the pairs often about 2 in. apart, stalkless, usually 1⁄3 to 3⁄4 in. long, 1⁄8 to 1⁄4 in. wide, ovate-oblong, triangular-toothed, thick, slightly downy. Flowers pale lilac, produced during June, crowded on spikes about 1 in. long, which terminate short lateral twigs. Corolla 1⁄3 in. long, tubular, narrowed towards the base, with five small rounded lobes. Calyx cylindrical, downy. Bot. Mag., t. 7695.
Native of the Andes of Chile and the Argentine; introduced to Kew about 1890. This shrub or small tree, which is perfectly hardy in the open, has somewhat the aspect of Spartium junceum, but is, of course, quite dissimilar in flower; and even without flowers the opposite leaves show the absence of relationship. It is an interesting plant, pretty without being showy, and worth a place in a shrubbery where its naked base is hidden and its slender top can stand up above the other shrubs. It is quite well able to take care of itself in such a position. Increased by cuttings in July and August.