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A tree occasionally 80 ft high in nature, trunk 18 in. in diameter; winter-buds ovoid, shining; young shoots clothed with soft pale hairs, which persist through the winter. Leaves ovate or ovate-oblong, 3 to 5 in. long, 11⁄2 to 2 in. wide, rounded or slightly heart-shaped at the base, tapered at the apex to a long slender point, coarsely, sharply, and irregularly toothed; dark green and hairy above, paler, more downy and velvety to the touch beneath. Fruit clusters 11⁄2 to 13⁄4 in. long, 3⁄4 in. wide.
Native of Japan, where it is said to be somewhat uncommon, and of China and Korea; introduced to Kew by Prof. Sargent in 1897. It is easily distinguished from the European and American species by the veins each side the midrib (nine to twelve) being fewer and farther apart, and by the more uniformly downy, softer, more velvety surfaces of the leaves.
The tree now at Kew was planted in 1947 and measures 37 × 2 ft (1967).
specimens: Kew, pl. 1897, 44 × 33⁄4 ft (1978); Wakehurst Place, Sussex, 46 × 51⁄2 ft at 3 ft (1981).