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A deciduous or semi-evergreen rambling shrub up to 10 ft high; stems slender, downy, furnished with a few tiny prickles. Leaves made up of usually five, sometimes three leaflets radiating from the end of a downy main-stalk that is 11⁄2 to 3 in. long. Leaflets oblanceolate to oblong, shortly and slenderly pointed, tapered at the base, scarcely stalked, evenly set all round with sharp triangular teeth; middle leaflet the largest and from 4 to 9 in. long by 1 to 21⁄2 in. wide, lowest pair often about half the size, upper surface dark green with a line of white down on the midrib, under surface covered completely with shining silky down, veins parallel in thirty to fifty pairs. Flowers in short axillary clusters, white, sepals longer than the petals, downy. Fruits small, red or yellow.
Native of the Himalaya, S.W. China, and Malaysia. I first saw it cultivated out-of-doors at Caerhays, Cornwall, in 1916; it was then 10 ft high. It was also grown at that time by Harry White at the Sunningdale Nurseries. Amongst the Rubi it is remarkably distinct in its five-foliolate leaves with the leaflets arranged as in the horse chestnut, in the singularly beautiful silvery sheen beneath them, and in their very numerous parallel veins, of which I have counted as many as fifty pairs on one leaflet. It is not hardy at Kew, but Messrs Hillier report that at Winchester it is injured only in hard winters. The plants in cultivation were raised from seed collected by Forrest, who found it in Yunnan as long ago as 1905. Henry had previously found it in the same province.
R. andersonii Hook. f. (1878), not Lefèvre (1877)
Near to R. lineatus, but its branches, petioles and pedicels are clad with a more woolly indumentum and are also furnished with long, gland-tipped bristles. The inflorescences are larger and more open and the leaflets up to 3 in. wide. Native of the Himalaya from E. Nepal to Bhutan; introduced in 1971 by the University of North Wales Expedition to Nepal.