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A deciduous shrub, dense with luxuriant leafage but of graceful habit, ultimately 8 to 10 ft high; twigs downy. Leaves oval or slightly obovate, 1 to 2 in. long, 1⁄3 to 1 in. wide, always tapered at the apex, glabrous except on the midrib beneath, and on the margins when young. Flowers white, produced in July in terminal, nodding clusters 11⁄2 in. long on short side twigs. Calyx bell-shaped, scarcely toothed, usually slightly downy. Corolla 1⁄3 in. long. Fruits globose, ultimately black, but at first covered with a purplish bloom.
Native of Japan; introduced in 1860. This privet is a strong and vigorous grower, and when well furnished with its short clusters is distinctly ornamental. But it does not make so good a display here as in countries with a hotter summer. I saw it in the Arnold Arboretum in July 1910, and was much struck with its beauty and grace. As a flowering or fruit-bearing shrub it is at Kew inferior to L. sinense. It is allied to L. ovalifolium, but is distinct in habit and in the downy midrib. Both species have a corolla-tube two or three times as long as the lobes, but ovalifolium is nearly devoid of down.
L. regelianum Koehne