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A deciduous shrub up to 10 ft high; young shoots round, mostly glabrous. Leaves 11⁄2 to 31⁄2 in. long, 1⁄2 to 11⁄4 in. wide; ovate-lanceolate, slender-pointed, tapered at the base, glabrous; stalk 1⁄8 in. long. Flowers produced in May on the lower side of axillary racemes 1 to 3 in. long; corolla white (either pure or pink tinted), cylindrical, 1⁄4 in. long, with five teeth at the narrow mouth; glabrous outside, downy within; calyx-lobes triangular; filaments of stamens hairy. Fruits 1⁄5 in. wide, black-purple. Bot. Mag., t. 9658.
Native of W. China, mainly in Yunnan. It was raised by J. C. Williams of Caerhays in Cornwall from seeds collected by Forrest in 1913–14, and the flowering and fruiting sprays portrayed in the Botanical Magazine were sent by him in 1925 and 1932 respectively. But the species has never become established in cultivation and is probably only suited to the milder parts.
V. duclouxii is one of five Chinese species all closely allied to V. donnianum Wight, described in 1848 from the Khasi Hills of Assam. See further in the note by J. R. Sealy accompanying the plate in the Botanical Magazine. V. donnianum is also known as V. sprengelii (Don) Sleum., based on Agapetes sprengelii G. Don (1834), but the identity of the plant described by Don under this name is uncertain.