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An evergreen shrub 3 to 6 ft high; young shoots and leaves not downy. Leaves ovate-lanceolate, rounded or slightly heart-shaped at the base, tapered to a very slender, slightly curved apex, finely and regularly toothed, 2 to 41⁄2 in. long, 1⁄2 to 13⁄4 in. wide, dark glossy green, prominently net-veined, of stiff, rather hard texture; stalk 1⁄8 to 1⁄4 in. long. Flowers produced in slender axillary racemes 2 to 3 in. long, carrying twelve to twenty or more blossoms, white or yellowish, the broadly bell-shaped corolla 1⁄8 in. long; anthers yellow; ovary shaggy. Fruits globose, 1⁄4 in. wide, purplish black, ripe in August.
Native of S.W. China. Cultivated at Edinburgh and raised there, no doubt, from seeds collected by Forrest, who describes the bark, foliage, and all parts of the plant as strongly aromatic with a pungent pleasant odour, and the flowers as being fragrant. It makes graceful shoots 1 to 2 ft long in a season and the racemes spring from the leaf-axils of the terminal half during the following May.
For a detailed account of this species see Journ. R.H.S., Vol. 65, pp. 319-320. G. yunnanensis and the species described below are the northernmost representatives of the mainly Malaysian section Gymnobotrys, which extends as far as New Guinea.