It is a shrub growing to 3-6 m tall, with erect branches. The leaves are oval-oblong, 5-19 cm long and 2-7 cm broad. The flowers are fragrant and range in colour from pink to mauve, sometimes with a white base; they are produced in early summer on panicles 4-25 cm long and are attractive to bees, butterflies, and birds. The panicles often hang limply, which is how the plant got its common name; the clusters look as though they are nodding.
There are two subspecies:
Country & Garden: Out of the Shadows ; Those Carefree Days of Spring Are over and Many Understorey Plants Struggle to Survive below the Summer Canopy. Ursula Buchan Offers Some Colourful Advice
Jun 03, 2000; I look forward all year to early June. Don't you? Much as I love the spring, especially in the countryside and the wilder shores...