Superficially, this evergreen shrub is similar to rhododendron, but has a denser canopy, rounder habit and a greater tolerance of bright sunshine. In spring, the canopy is flushed with whorls of copper-tinted leaves held on bright-red petioles. Leaves gradually fade to green and develop a striking, glaucous underside. Its flowers are inconspicuous, but the loose bunches of blueberry-like fruit (on female plants) are notable in autumn. Plants propagated from seed will show considerable variation, so shop in spring to select the best forms. Height 4-8m. Origin Japan, Korea and China. Conditions Shelter from strong winds, good well-drained soil; can tolerate sun or shade. Hardiness RHS H4. Season Year-round.