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An erect shrub 6 to 8 ft high; young shoots glabrous; bark of the previous year’s shoots dark greyish brown, more or less split lengthwise, but not peeling off. Leaves ovate or oval, with long drawn-out points; those of the barren shoots 2 to 6 in. long, half as wide, toothed, usually five-nerved, glabrous above, downy in the vein-axils beneath; the leaves of the flowering shoots are smaller and proportionately narrower, and often quite or nearly entire. Flowers slightly scented, white, about 11⁄4 in. across, produced in erect racemes of five to eleven flowers; petals oval, rounded; style rather shorter than the stamens, the stigmas separate; calyx-lobes ovate, glabrous outside or nearly so.
Native of Japan; introduced in 1851. P. satsumi is a variable species; the calyx-tube, pedicels, and style may be downy or glabrous, and the leaves are downy beneath in f. nikoensis (Rehd.) Ohwi. In var. lancifolids (Uyeki) Murata (P. shikokianus Nakai) the styles are downy at the base (Ohwi, Fl. Japan (1965), p. 512; Hara, Fl. E. Himalaya, 2nd report, p. 47).