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A tree ultimately 20 to 30 ft high, with a spreading tangle of branches forming a rounded head wider than the tree is high; often shrubby; young shoots downy at first, becoming glabrous later. Leaves on the flowering and weaker shoots usually narrowly or broadly ovate, and from 11⁄2 to 3 in. long; rounded or tapering at the base, rather coarsely toothed, on strong shoots they are occasionally three- or five-lobed, 3 to 41⁄2 in. long, and half as wide, upper surface dark dullish green, glabrous; lower one paler and downy; stalk 1⁄2 to 1 in. long, downy. Flowers 1 to 11⁄4 in. across, rosy-red in bud, pale pink when open, produced in clusters of four to seven, each on a stalk 1 to 11⁄2 in. long. Fruits round, 3⁄4 in. in diameter, yellow, with the calyx fallen away.
Introduced from Japan about 1862, and perhaps the most beautiful of all crabs in flower. It blossoms towards the end of April, producing then an amazing profusion of flowers, each branch a garland. Perhaps its beauty is greatest when half the flowers are expanded, the pale pink contrasting with the rich rose of the other half still in bud. This crab is not considered to be a true wild species, but a hybrid from M. sieboldii and perhaps M. baccata or prunifolia. The deeply three- or even five-lobed leaves occasionally seen on strong branches certainly indicate affinity with M. sieboldii (q.v.).