Subject: M sinensis
Thanks for the very interesting pics of your sinensis. Attached two images showing the Windsor plant plus one of the Wilson herbarium specimens from Boston Wilson1422. The suborbicular and broadly obovate leaves are distinctive and the only specimen I have seen so far that is convincingly the same is at the Savill. It was sourced from the original Windsor collection which I gather means it is pre 1930,origin unknown. The others I have seen – and the problem is that I have not seen many – all appear to be contaminated in some degree by wilsonii. They all appear to be seedlings which tends to support that possibility, though sinensis seems easy to raise from cuttings.
Michael Warren at Sandling has raised seedlings from highdownensis and they seem to show a degree of sinensis influence for example, and typical of hybrid origin.
For what it’s worth I think the current orthodoxy of placing sinensis as a subspecies of sieboldii is a nonsense – there are at least 7 significant differences and there is a strong case for reinstating it, like the Chinese, to species level. I also think that the links with wilsonii are too weak to relate it to that.
I would value a specimen from your plant at some time – even a rooted cutting ! And happy to send you the other Wilson images if you thought it helpful.