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A deciduous tree attaining a height of about 50 ft in the wild and nearing that height in cultivation; young shoots green and glabrous. Leaves papery in texture, elliptic, acuminate at the apex, rounded to broadly wedge-shaped at the base, 3 to 4 in. long, 11⁄4 to 2 in. wide, shallowly toothed, glabrous. Male flowers in clusters on short axillary spurs. Female flowers borne singly in the leaf-axils on stalks about 5⁄8 in. long. Fruits black, globose, but flattened top and bottom, about 5⁄8 in. wide; nutlets seven to nine, strongly ribbed. Bot. Mag., n.s., t. 72.
A native of S. and S.W. China, also reported from Indo-China; discovered by Henry in W. Hupeh; introduced by Wilson in 1907 when collecting for the Arnold Arboretum. It is quite hardy at Kew, where there are three specimens; one is female and bears abundantly the large black fruits which are the most remarkable characteristic of this species. The tallest of these measures 27 × 13⁄4 ft (1970). There is a specimen in the Main Drive at Westonbirt measuring 40 × 13⁄4 ft (1967).
The largest specimen at Kew is 31 × 21⁄4 ft (1982).