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A deciduous shrub, 8 to 12 ft high, of elegant bushy habit, the young shoots and every other part of the plant free from down. Leaves pinnate, 11⁄2 to 31⁄2 in. long, composed of seven, nine, or eleven leaflets, which are dull green, stalkless, ovate-lanceolate, 3⁄4 to 11⁄4 in. long, 1⁄4 to 3⁄8 in. wide, pointed, the base rounded or in the case of the terminal leaflets frequently attached to the common stalk by a portion of the blade. Flowers white, with a slight lilac tint, produced in late April or early May in panicles 11⁄2 to 3 in. long, which spring usually in opposite pairs from the joints of the previous year’s wood. Corolla-tube 1⁄2 in. long, the lobes at the mouth spreading and giving the flower a diameter of 1⁄4 in.; calyx-lobes rounded.
Native of W. China; discovered by Wilson in 1904 in W. Szechwan, where it grows at altitudes of 7-9,000 ft. The pinnate leaves of this species at once suggest an affinity with S. laciniata, but they are divided (except sometimes near the apex) into quite distinct leaflets, and not merely lobed as in the other. It has been placed by Rehder in a series of its own, ser. Pinnatifoliae. It has interest as a distinct and hardy lilac, but its garden value is not equal to that of S. laciniata or S. × persica. It is one parent of S. × diversifolia (see under S. oblata).