Kolkwitzia amabilis, the beauty bush

The graceful arching sprays of this large shrub on the western edge of Systematics more than lives up to its common name of beauty bush. As with all members of the honeysuckle, Caprifoliaceae, family, the flowers arise in pairs, starting as slightly inflated deep pink buds and opening to five-lobed tubular flowers, the lower petal spattered with a rich egg-yolk coloured landing platform. As the petals fall, the remaining, branching floral structures look like pairs of downy, wine red antlers!
Native to China, Kokwitzia amabilis is one of Ernest 'Chinese' Wilson's introductions to the UK on behalf of his sponsors, Veitch Nurseries.

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