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Shrub or small tree, 6–9 m, dbh ~0.2 m. Branchlets greyish brown, glabrous, lenticels sparse; unarmed. Buds purplish brown. Leaves deciduous, 4–7 × 3.5–5 cm long, broadly ovate, upper surface glabrous, lower surface pubescent, particularly along the veins, margin with two to three (to four) lobes on each side of the midrib, lobe margins sharply double-serrate, apex obtuse; petiole 1–1.2(–3) cm long; stipules ~0.8 cm long, ovatelanceolate, membranous, margins serrate. Inflorescence corymbose, 3–4 cm diameter with many flowers; pedicels 0.4–0.6 cm long, glabrous. Flowers white; hypanthium campanulate, sepals triangular-ovate, petals obovate, ~0.6 cm long, stamens 20. Fruit red, ~0.6 cm diameter, ellipsoid, crowned by reflexed sepals, seeds one to three. Flowering May, fruiting September (China). Gu et al. 2003. Distribution CHINA: northwest Yunnan (Zhongdian). Habitat Mixed forest along watercourses, between 2500 and 3500 m asl. USDA Hardiness Zone 6. Conservation status Not evaluated. Illustration NT283.
Crataegus chungtienensis has been in cultivation for a long time, probably having been introduced by Forrest. It is common in the Zhongdian area, to which Forrest travelled on several occasions, and is an attractive small shrubby tree there, producing abundant large haws that are collected and eaten by local people (C. Brickell, C. Grey-Wilson, pers. comms. 2007). In cultivation a number of larger, older trees have been recorded in the past, including specimens of over 9 m at both Birr Castle, Co. Offaly, and Nymans, West Sussex (TROBI), measured by Alan Mitchell in the 1980s. It is not known whether any of these old trees survive, but at Edinburgh a 4 m specimen dates to the 1930s, from a collection made by T.T. Yu (13588) in northwestern Yunnan. It has also been collected on several occasions by more recent expeditions to Yunnan, notably the Cangshan, Lijiang and Dali Expedition (CLD) and the Alpine Garden Society Expedition to China (ACE), in 1991 and 1994, respectively. Material distributed from these sources has enabled it to become quite widely grown. In addition to its ornamental flowers and fruits, its glossy chestnut-brown twigs, red-brown thorns and large shiny buds are attractive in winter. A specimen at Hergest Croft from ACE 1624 was 4 m tall in 2006.