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A shrub 3 to 5 ft high, with erect stems; young shoots angled, finely downy, bright brown. Leaves 1⁄4 to 1 in. long, 1⁄3 in. or less wide, narrowly oblong, or obovate, entire, glabrous, with feathered veins beneath. Flowers yellowish white, small, produced during May and June in small umbels; flower-stalks glabrous.
Native of Siberia from the Altai eastward, Mongolia and N.W. China; probably introduced to Britain shortly before 1824 (the plant portrayed by Loudon as S. alpina, said to have been introduced in 1806, is clearly not the present species). It is of no garden value. Wilson found what appears to have been a dwarf, more ornamental form in the uplands of W. Szechwan, but so far as is known this is not in cultivation.