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A shrub of lax, spreading habit, 6 to 9 ft high, more in diameter; branches reddish brown, slightly hairy when young. Leaves of the barren shoots 21⁄2 to 31⁄2 in. long, 3⁄4 to 11⁄4 in. wide, narrowly oblong or oblanceolate, coarsely toothed near the apex, those of the flowering twigs much smaller, 3⁄4 to 11⁄2 in. long, oblong or obovate, more shallowly toothed at the apex than the others, sometimes entire; all covered more or less with loose, greyish down beneath. Flowers white, 1⁄4 in. across, produced in June on rounded corymbs, 2 in. across, which terminate short, leafy twigs; flower-stalk and ovary downy. Bot. Mag., t. 8270.
Native of central and western China; named in honour of Dr A. Henry, who first discovered it near Ichang in 1885; introduced for Messrs Veitch by Wilson in 1900. It is a fine shrub, and stands in the front rank of spiraeas, but on account of its wide-spreading habit needs plenty of space for lateral development; it is better as an isolated plant than grouped in a shrubbery. Shoots 5 ft or more long are made in a season. It is allied to the Himalayan S. canescens.
S. wilsonii Duthie – This is closely allied to, perhaps only a variety of S. henryi. It is distinguished among other points by its glabrous ovary, and glabrous or slightly silky flower-stalks. Leaves of flowering shoots entire, downy above, duller green. Introduced in 1900 from Hupeh. Bot. Mag., t. 8399.
For another ally of S. henryi, see S. veitchii.