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A semi-deciduous or, in mild winters, evergreen shrub up to 6 ft high young shoots semi-woody, slender, minutely downy. Leaves opposite, ovate in main outline, but very coarsely and irregularly toothed or even lobed, pointed. 1⁄2 to 11⁄4 in. long, 1⁄4 to 5⁄8 in. wide, dark dull green and with scattered hairs above, paler, and occasionally with a few hairs on the midrib and chief veins beneath. Flowers produced about midsummer in corymbs 11⁄2 to 3 in. across, that terminate slender, erect, downy flower-stalks. Corolla helmet-shaped, with a deep notch at each side (often described as ‘two-lipped’), 1⁄2 in. or less long, nearly as wide at the mouth, pale violet, spotted with purple inside and with a blotch of bright yellow in the throat; downy outside and at the margins. Calyx four-lobed, hairy outside and at the margins, the lobes ovate; stamens two, very shortly stalked, situated at the base of the corolla and surrounded with bristles there.
Native of Chile; introduced early in the 19th century. It is not genuinely hardy at Kew, although it has lived and occasionally flowered at the foot of a south wall there. In the warmer counties, if given a sunny spot, it succeeds very well, increasing its area by sucker growth and flowering very prettily.