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Shrub to 3 m, branches hairy, with 2 hairy ridges when young. Leaves elliptic, obovate or oblanceolate, 4–12 x 2–5 cm, apex acuminate or acute, base rounded or attenuate, margin shallowly serrate, hairy on both sides of leaves, densest on veins, lateral veins 3–6 pairs, petiole to 0.5 cm, glabrous. Cymes, axillary or terminal on previous year’s growth, 1–3 flowered. Peduncle 1–4 mm, hairy, bracts and bracteoles linear 1–10 mm, both caducous. Caylx tube 5–lobed, radially symmetric, linear or awl–shaped, free almost entire length, 0.5–1.5 x ca. 0.1 cm, hairy. Corolla funnel–shaped, 2.5–4 x 1.5–2.5 cm, gradually widening from the base, red to dark crimson red, red to red lavender inside, hairy outside. Corolla tube 2–2.5 cm, hairy inside, corolla 5–lobed, radially symmetric, ovate or oblong–ovate, 0.5–0.9 cm long (ca. 25–30% of length of corolla tube). Stamen almost as long as corolla, filaments 0.7–1.2 cm, glabrous; anthers, free, linear 0.4–0.6, yellow. Style longer than corolla, 3–4 cm, glabrous, stigma disk–like, 2–3 mm diameter. Fruits cylindrical, slightly curved, 1.7–2.5 cm dehiscing from apex, glabrous. Seeds ovoid, 1.5 mm long, narrow wings on three sides.
Based on Iwatsuki, K. (ed) (1993)
Flowers May to June.
Fruits – September to December
Distribution Japan Central and west Honshu and Shikoku
Habitat Open places 105-1700 m
RHS Hardiness Rating H5
Taxonomic note The Japanese flora distinguishes one colour form and one variety, based on locality and corolla characterisitics. forma leucantha Honda with white flowers that sporadically appears through its range. var. versicolor (Makino) Hara has a corolla that’s pale green yellow, becoming rose pink outside and pale pink inside. Corolla tube 2-3 cm long, with lobes 0.7 – 1 cm (ca. 30-40% of length of corolla tube). Endemic to Kanto Mountains of cental Honshu.
A shrub 4 to 8 ft high, with slender, supple branches clothed with soft hairs. Leaves ovate or oval with long, tapering points, wedge-shaped at the base, 3 or 4 in. long, and about half as wide on the long, barren, first-year shoots, considerably smaller on the lateral flowering twigs, toothed, downy on both surfaces, especially beneath. Flowers produced during June in corymbs terminating, and in the leaf-axils of. the short side twigs. Corolla funnel-shaped, 1 in. long, with five spreading lobes at the mouth, where it is 5⁄8 in. across, downy outside, of a dark, almost blood-red. Calyx 1⁄2 in. long, consisting of a tube and five narrow linear lobes, hairy. Seed-vessel cylindrical, narrow, downy.
Native of the mountains of Japan; introduced to Europe about 1860. The typical W. floribunda is now rare in cultivation, but it is the species whose characteristics and colour of flower are dominant in the crimson-flowered hybrids such as ‘Eva Rathke’ and ‘Styriaca’. It is allied to W. coraeensis, but that is an almost glabrous species, with lighter coloured flowers.
† W. subsessilis (Nakai) Bailey Diervilla subsessilis Nakai – This species was probably not in cultivation until introduced to Kew in 1982 from Mount Pukhan in South Korea, north-west of Seoul, by Beyer, Erskine and Cowley (no. 206). It is allied to W. floribunda but probably of less value as a parent of hybrids, the flowers being yellowish, sometimes flushed with pink. It was seen by the collectors as a shrub about 4 ft high.