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An evergreen prostrate or climbing shrub described as from 10 to 20 ft high, in the wild growing over trees and cliffs; young leaves and shoots at first scurfy, afterwards quite glabrous. Leaves opposite, leathery, entire, narrowly oblong, obovate or oval, pointed, tapered at the base, 21⁄2 to 6 in. long, 3⁄4 to 21⁄2 in. wide, dark, dullish green, strongly veined and minutely pitted beneath; stalk 1⁄3 to 1 in. long. Flowers milky white, usually densely crowded in a terminal panicle 4 to 6 in. wide and high, opening in September and October. Each flower is about 3⁄8 in. wide, with four or five petals and twice as many stamens; the latter are 1⁄4 in. long, white, and make the most conspicuous feature of the inflorescence. Calyx cup-shaped at the base with four or five short lobes. Fruit a small, dry, top-shaped capsule, rather like that of a hydrangea, to which genus Pileostegia is nearly akin. Bot. Mag., t. 9262.
Native of the Khasi Hills, India, also of China and Formosa. The plants in cultivation were introduced by Wilson, who sent seed to the Arnold Arboretum which he had collected in 1908. This, the only species of the genus as yet described, makes an excellent evergreen climber for a wall, covering it densely with its foliage and clinging of itself by aerial roots. Grown on a west wall at Kew, it has shown no sign of tenderness there. The late Hon. Vicary Gibbs first showed it at Westminster in bloom during September 1914, and sixteen years later Lord Wakehurst exhibited fine flowering sprays during the same month. It likes a good soil and is easily propagated by cuttings.