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A deciduous tree up to 25 ft high, of loose, graceful habit; young shoots long, slender, at first closely covered with grey down, becoming glabrous later. Leaves ovate to lanceolate in main outline, but usually deeply lobed, the pointed or bluntish lobes numbering three to seven, basal leaves of shoot often entire, apex of leaf pointed, sometimes slenderly so, base narrowly wedge-shaped to truncate, 11⁄4 to 31⁄2 in. long, 3⁄4 to 2 in. wide, both surfaces slightly downy at first, but the upper one becoming quite glabrous, the lower one remaining more or less downy on the midrib and veins, margins slightly toothed; leaf-stalk slender, downy, 3⁄4 to 11⁄2 in. long. Flowers six to eight together in corymbs terminating short leafy spurs, opening in May; each flower is 3⁄4 to 1 in. wide, borne on a slender downy stalk 3⁄4 to 1 in. long; petals creamy white; calyx-tube bell-shaped, the lobes awl-shaped, the whole clothed with grey down. Fruits obovoid to globose, 3⁄8 to 5⁄8 in. long, pendulous, yellow, flushed deeply with scarlet on the sunny side, the calyx fallen away from the top. Bot. Mag., t. 8948.
Native of W. Szechwan, China; introduced by Wilson for Messrs Veitch in 1904. This is a very beautiful addition to cultivated crabs, uniting a graceful habit with exquisite colouring of fruit. It is in its highest beauty in September and October. Miss Willmott showed it at Westminster in October 1919, when it was given an Award of Merit.
This species was reintroduced by Roy Lancaster from western China in 1981 (L. 926).
Hybrids (page 714)
’Aldenhamensis’. – This also leafs out later than ‘Eleyi’, an advantage in gardens subject to spring frosts.
’Almey’. – This is down-graded in the report on the recent Dutch trials, from three stars to zero, the reason being that the fruits are subject to scab. The same ignominy was suffered by ‘Dorothea’.
’Dartmouth’. – This is of semi-weeping habit.
’Dorothea’. – See ‘Almey’ above.
’Eleyi’. – See M. × eleyi, pages 696-7. The clonal name is preferable.
’Elise Rathke’. – The fruits of this cultivar are usually green with a purple flush, not yellow.
† ‘Royalty’. – A crab of the Rosybloom type which succeeds well at Kew. The flowers are unusually large, pink. The foliage is rich purple and holds its colour well. Raised in Canada.
Of the crabs described on pages 714-17, those that received the highest rating in the Dutch trials were ‘Professor Sprenger’, ‘Red Sentinel’ and ‘Van Eseltine’.
Pyrus transitoria Batal