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A deciduous shrub 10 to 15 ft high in gardens, but said to become a tree 30 to 40 ft high in China; young branchlets angular, glabrous. Leaves lanceolate, long-pointed, 1 to 41⁄2 in. long, 1⁄3 to 1 in. wide, entire, bright green, and quite glabrous. Flowers greenish white, produced in terminal, slender panicles 1 to 2 in. long, and in axillary shorter ones; each flower 1⁄6 in. long. Fruit a flat oblong disk, 3⁄8 in. long, with winged margins, notched at the apex.
Native of China; found by Fortune in 1845, and later by several other collectors, near Shanghai. It is very closely allied to the following better known species from Asia Minor; some authors consider it to be merely a variety of this. The most obvious distinctions are the larger more uniformly lance-shaped leaves (often oval or oblong in the other), and the more slender, elongated panicles. In a note by Commander W. Perry preserved in the Kew Herbarium, it is stated that the Chinese make fences round their compounds with branches of this tree interlaced. These take root and form a graceful hedge.