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A shrub 2 to 5 ft high in the wild, its arching branches ribbed, dark reddish brown, slightly downy when young. Leaves on strong extension shoots semicircular in outline, deeply three-lobed, the lobes coarsely and doubly crenate-toothed, truncate at the base, but on weaker shoots obovate-cuneate and deeply toothed at the apex; the leaves are up to 1⁄2 in. long on the stronger shoots, rather more in width, and are glabrous on both sides, pruinose beneath; petiole of the largest leaves about 1⁄4 in. long. Flowers small, white, flushed with pink on the outside, borne few together in reduced corymbs on the previous season’s wood, with a few minute leaves at the base; sometimes short spurs occur among the flowers, on which the leaves are up to about 3⁄8 in. long. Receptacle shallowly cup-shaped, it and calyx-lobes glabrous. Disk not lobed. Carpels glabrous, with terminal, erect styles.
This little-known species was found by Forrest in the Lichiang range, Yunnan, in June 1910, and described three years later, by which time it was already grown by Messrs Bees from seeds sent by Forrest. The type-specimen, collected in flower, did not bear fully developed leaves, and the description of these is taken from the plant in the Hillier Arboretum, which came from Kew and agrees well in other respects with the type. The species is of uncertain affinity, and perhaps not closely related to S. hypericifolia, under which Rehder places it in the Manual. It is a pretty spiraea, probably not attaining more than 3 ft in height in gardens. The specific epithet refers to its habitat in the crevices of dry limestone cliffs.