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A tall evergreen shrub of which Bentham in his Flora Australiensis makes five varieties; of these the one I know as a shrub of the open air in this country is the var. obovatum. There is a fine bush of this in the garden at Sheffield Park, Sussex, which grows outside and was 10 ft high when I saw it in 1928. The leaves are 1⁄4 to 5⁄8 in. long, 1⁄8 to 1⁄4 in. wide, almost uniformly obovate, except that some are rather wider in proportion to their length than others and they are very frequently notched at the apex, the base wedge-shaped. Flowers scarcely stalked, white, 5⁄8 in. wide, opening in July, solitary on short twigs or in the leaf-axils; calyx glabrous. It was figured by Sweet in his Flora Australasica, t. 36, published in 1828, as ‘L. obovatum’. He mentions that the plant figured was raised in the nursery of Messrs Whitley, Brames & Milne at Fulham, from seed sent by a Mr C. Frazer from New South Wales. Sweet observes that the plant will ‘without doubt stand our winters very well in the open air with a slight covering in severe frost’. Its distinguishing characters are its five-celled ovary, its glabrous calyx-tube, and its notch-ended leaves. Besides New South Wales, this shrub is also wild in Victoria, Queensland, and Tasmania.
L. flavescens is allied to L. lanigerum but in that species the leaves and stems are hairy, and the receptacles and sepals densely woolly-tomentose or villose. It is represented at Wakehurst Place, Sussex, by a plant in the Heath Garden about 15 ft high (1971). This has smallish leaves and is nearest to var. microphyllum Benth.