- Broadleaf evergreen shrub, 10-15 ft (3-4.5 m) high, usually dense pyramidal. Stems glabrous. Leaves alternate, simple, ovate to elliptic, 2.5-10 cm long, abruptly pointed, serrate with each serration tipped with a black gland, dark lustrous green above, leathery. Flowers perfect, not fragrant, 6-13 cm across; white, pink, rose and red, with many different forms, e.g., single, semidouble, formal double, peony, etc. They may bloom from early winter to spring.
- Sun to part shade. Prefers moist, acid, organic, well-drained soil. Mulch roots since they are not particularly deep.
- Hardy to USDA Zone 7 Native to Japan and China.
- Many clones, well over 2,000, have resulted from the breeding and selection of both professionals and armatures. Some selections are registered whereas others are not and there is much confusion in equating some names with a particular plant. Dirr (1998) states that the situation is confused "to the point of hopelessness".
- Oregon State Univ. campus: across Campus Way from Owen Hall (ECE).