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Shrub or tree to 15 m. Branchlets usually angular with dense, appressed pubescence; terminal buds densely pubescent. Leaves somewhat sparse, evergreen, papery, (4.5–)8–25 × (1–)2.5–4.5(–8.5) cm, elliptic to lanceolate or obovate, upper surface glabrous, lower surface sparsely or densely covered in trichomes, (5–)7–10 secondary veins on each side of the midrib, margins entire, often thickened, apex obtuse or acute; petiole 1–2.5 cm long, pubescent. Inflorescences axillary, 4–7(–20) cm long, with dense, appressed pubescence, pedicels 0.15–0.25 cm long. Flowers campanulate, 0.35–0.5 cm long, yellowish green, inconspicuous; tepals six, unequal, outer tepals smaller than inner, densely pubescent; stamens very small. Fruit a globose berry, ~1 cm diameter. Flowering April to June, fruiting June to December (Mexico). Van der Werff & Lorea 1997. Distribution MEXICO: Chiapas, Chihuahua, Durango, Guanajuato, Guerrero, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Nuevo León, Oaxaca, Puebla, Querétaro, San Luis Potosí, Sonora, Tamaulipas, Veracruz. Habitat Montane mesophytic, tropical deciduous and humid pine-oak forest between 600 and 1800 m asl. USDA Hardiness Zone 7–8. Conservation status Vulnerable. Illustration Van der Werff & Lorea 1997. Taxonomic note Older taxonomic works (such as Kopp 1966) retain P. podadenia and P. liebmannii as separate species, distinguished by their leaves, which are larger in P. liebmannii (10–25 × 3–8.5 cm) than in P. podadenia (6–16 × 1.5–3.5 cm).
Under the name Persea podadenia this species has a limited presence in cultivation in the United States, apparently from material introduced by Yucca Do Nursery, Hempstead, Texas (Hogan 2008; Woodlanders 2007–2008). It grows particularly happily in the southeastern states but also does well on the West Coast (Hogan 2008), forming a pleasant, densely crowned small tree that is hardy to –12 to –14 °C. It is similar to P. borbonia but is hairier on the twigs and leaf undersides. The American species of Persea flush green in spring, rather than showing the brighter colours of their Asian relatives.