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A tree to about 70 ft high in the wild, but barely half as high in Britain; branchlets dark brown, lenticellate, at first densely white-woolly; winter-buds conic, glossy, brown or greenish brown. Leaves simple, broadly ovate to obovate, cuneate at the base, 21⁄2 to 5 in. long, lateral veins in eight to eleven pairs, straight and parallel, margins toothed and shallowly lobulate, upper surface dull green, glabrous at maturity, lower surface sparsely to densely clad with white wool. Inflorescence many-flowered, the flowers white and about 3⁄8 in. across; branches of inflorescence and receptacle white-woolly; calyx lobes acuminate, soon deciduous with the free part of the receptacle. Styles two. Fruits ellipsoid to pear-shaped, red, lenticellate, almost 1⁄2 in. long (but orange-yellow or golden yellow, somewhat larger and without lenticels in var. calocarpa Rehd.).
Native of Japan and Korea. The plants in cultivation, mostly small and not thriving, probably derive from seed of the var. calocarpa, sent by Wilson from Japan.