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An evergreen bushy shrub or a small tree, up to 20 ft high in China; young shoots at first scaly. Leaves rather leathery, strongly nerved, entire or slightly toothed towards the apex, ovate or ovate-lanceolate, 2 to 41⁄2 in. long, one-third to half as wide, glabrous and dark green above, paler and quite glabrous beneath; leaf-stalk and young wood slightly warted. Flowers in short dense clusters less than 1 in. long, the chief features of which are the six to ten stamens and the reddish brown bracts that enclose the inflorescence. Anthers yellow, tinged with orange. Fruit a dry, woolly, egg-shaped capsule, 1⁄3 in. long. Bot. Mag., n.s., t. 655.
Native of Central China; introduced by Wilson for Messrs Veitch in 1901. It is perfectly hardy at Kew, and can be increased by means of cuttings made of fairly ripened wood and placed in heat. Its neat habit and distinct appearance, combined with its evergreen nature, make it welcome in gardens, and when well flowered it is quite handsome. It blossoms usually in March, sometimes in February.
S. tutcheri Hemsl. – So far as is known, this species is not in cultivation. Plants distributed under the name S. tutcheri derive from one at Kew, originally so labelled, which appears to be no species of Sycopsis but a form or relative of Distylium racemosum.