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A deciduous shrub 4 to 7 ft high; young shoots covered with a thick tawny down; buds white-woolly. Leaves broadly ovate or obovate, lobed and toothed at the upper part, entire and tapered towards the stalk, 1⁄2 to 11⁄8 in. long, from two-thirds to nearly as much wide, dull green and downy above, grey-tawny and velvety beneath; stalk 1⁄16 to 1⁄8 in. long. Flowers creamy white, 1⁄3 in. wide, produced during June in rounded clusters 1 in. across at the end of short leafy twigs. There are ten to twenty flowers in a cluster, each borne on a slender downy stalk. Petals roundish. Calyx downy like the flower-stalk. Stamens twenty.
Native of Yunnan, China; discovered by Père Delavay and introduced by Forrest, who found it at upwards of 10,000 ft altitude, varying apparently in height from 3 to 8 ft. It is very distinct in the tawny down that covers the young shoots, under-surface of the leaves, flower-stalks and calyx; also in the goodly size (for a spiraea) of the blossoms. It is evidently nearly akin to S. chinensis.