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A tree 10 to 25 ft high, young shoots downy at first, becoming smoother and greyish. Leaves heart-shaped, 3 to 6 in. long on adult plants, three-fourths as wide (considerably larger on young vigorous plants), terminated at the apex by an abrupt slender point, margins roundish-toothed (often three-lobed in young trees); rough with short hairs above, softly downy beneath, primary veins in five or six pairs; stalk about 1 in. long, hairy. Male spikes 3⁄4 in. long, borne on a slender stalk about the same length; female spikes of similar size, but with the flowers more closely packed. Fruits about 1 in. long, white, black, or red.
Native of Central China; first discovered about 1888, by Henry, in Hupeh; introduced twenty years later by Wilson. Young trees have hitherto grown freely, and promise to be quite hardy.
The specimens at Kew, pl. 1907, measure 44 × 31⁄2 ft and 40 × 31⁄2 ft (1981).