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A deciduous bush 8 to 16 ft high, or occasionally a bushy-headed tree up to 20 ft high; young shoots glabrous, grey by autumn, ultimately chestnut brown. Leaves ovate, sometimes obovate, with a long, tail-like point, and a usually rounded base, sharply and doubly toothed; thinly hairy when young, chiefly on the veins, 11⁄2 to 31⁄2 in. long, 1 to 13⁄4 in. wide; stalk 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 in. long, glabrous. Flowers opening in May, solitary or in twos or threes, each on a glabrous or thinly hairy stalk 1⁄2 to 11⁄4 in. long; they are 3⁄4 to 1 in. wide, white or pale pink. Calyx-tube glabrous, funnel-shaped to bell-shaped; petals rounded and entire or notched at the end. Fruits black, globose, 1⁄3 in. wide.
Native of Japan; introduced to the Arnold Arboretum in 1915. There has been considerable confusion between this species, P. incisa, and P. apetala, all three distinguished by having black fruits and a leaf with a long tail-like apex and a conspicuous double toothing. It is distinct enough in other respects from P. apetala (q.v.), a cherry very downy or hairy in many of its parts. P. incisa is also more or less downy on the young shoots, leaf-stalk and calyx, the leaves are smaller, the branchlets never become bright brown as in P. nipponica, and the flowers are normally smaller.
P. ceraseidos var. kurilensis Miyabe
P. kurilensis (Miyabe) Miyabe