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A shrub 6 to 8 ft high, of compact, much-branched habit. Leaves 3 or 4 in. long, lance-shaped to narrowly oval, tapered at both ends, entire, leathery, glabrous. Flowers borne in May and June singly near the end of the shoots each one composed of from twenty to thirty strap-shaped, pointed petals, 3⁄4 to 1 in. long, maroon-purple. Fruits a little over 1 in. wide. Bot. Mag., t.439.
Native of the southern United States; first found by Bartram in W. Florida in 1766, and introduced to England five years later. A small specimen lived outside for a long time without protection in the Coombe Wood nursery, Kingston-on-Thames, where it stood on a sunny slope, but as a rule near London it requires the shelter of a wall or some winter covering. It is really best adapted for Cornwall and places with a similar climate. The whole plant is permeated with an agreeable aromatic fragrance.