A tree 30 to 45 ft high, forming a rounded, bushy head; young shoots slightly downy at first, becoming glabrous by autumn. Leaves ovate or ovate-lanceolate, 2 to 31⁄2 in. long, 1 to 13⁄4 in. wide; rounded, unequal sided, and three-nerved at the base; taper-pointed, with a few remote teeth towards the apex only, sometimes almost entire; dark glossy green and glabrous above, paler and glossy beneath, with small tufts of down in the lower vein-axils; stalk 1⁄4 to 1⁄3 in. long, slightly downy. Fruits egg-shaped, black, on slender stalks 3⁄4 in. long.
Native of N. China in mountainous regions; also found by Henry in the mountains of Hupeh. It was introduced to Kew in 1882, by means of seed sent by Dr Bretschneider, and collected on the hills north of Peking. It is extremely rare in cultivation, but is a notable and handsome species, very distinct in its lustrous, almost glabrous leaves. (See also C. glabrata.)
C. sinensis Pers., is similar in the hard texture and very glossy upper surface of its leaves to C. bungeana, but its young shoots are clothed with minute hairs and the obliquely ovate leaves are conspicuously toothed towards the apex. The two are closely akin. A native of China and Japan, introduced in 1910. A specimen at Kew, planted in 1923, now measures 35 × 41⁄4 ft (1967).
C. jessoensis Koidz. – A tree to 70 ft high in Japan and Korea. It may be distinguished from C. bungeana, to which it is related, by its sharply toothed leaves, glaucous beneath and slightly downy, especially on the veins. It was introduced to the Arnold Arboretum in 1892.
From the Supplement (Vol. V)
The Kew tree, pl. 1902, is 36 × 4 ft at 4 ft (1981).
C. sinensis – This species also occurs in Korea, whence it was reintroduced to Kew in 1982 by Beyer, Erskine and Cowell, who collected seeds in the Gaeryoung National Park, South Korea (B.E. & C. 255). There are two older trees in the collection, pl. 1921-3, one measuring 36 × 21⁄2 + 21⁄2 ft (1981).
C. jessoensis – There are now young plants of this species at Kew from B.E. & C. 242 (see above). The seeds were collected from a tree about 40 ft high, growing in Kyonggi province, South Korea.