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A deciduous tree up to 30 ft high, devoid of down in all its parts; young wood purplish brown, marked with very pale lenticels. Leaves lance-shaped to narrowly obovate, long and slenderly pointed, narrowly wedge-shaped at the base, finely and sharply toothed, the teeth frequently tipped with a small dark gland, 11⁄2 to 5 in. long, 1⁄2 to 13⁄4 in. wide, of thin firm texture with some ten or twelve pairs of veins conspicuously raised beneath. Flowers in corymbs 11⁄2 to 2 in. wide, terminating short leafy twigs which spring from the previous season’s growth. Each flower is scarcely 1⁄2 in. wide, white; petals roundish, tapering to a claw; sepals triangular. Fruits deep red, rather egg-shaped, nearly 1⁄4 in. wide.
Native of W. China; discovered by Henry, introduced to the Coombe Wood nursery in 1900 by Wilson, who describes it as a small, slender tree common in woods and copses. It has been cultivated at Kew since its introduction, is quite hardy and bears fruit regularly and usually freely enough to make it quite ornamental. A distinguishing character is the conspicuous veining, almost ribbing, of the leaves beneath. It flowers in May.
There is a specimen at Westonbirt, Glos., 30 ft high, planted in 1933.
A plant at Singleton Abbey, Swansea, measures 36 × 31⁄4 ft (1981). The var. nobilis, at Kew, pl. 1909, is 33 × 21⁄4 ft (1981) and there is another example of about the same size in the Winkworth Arboretum, Godalming.
P. notabilis Schneid
Easily distinguished from the type by the larger and especially broader leaves, which are up to 5. in. long, and the larger, looser inflorescences 3 to 4 in. wide. Fruits orange-red. Superior to the type. Introduced by Wilson in 1908 from W. Hupeh, where he found it 30 ft high. Award of Merit as a hardy fruiting shrub when shown from Nymans, Sussex, on November 29, 1960.