A pyramidal tree from 60 to 80 ft high; young shoots glabrous, or downy towards the base; buds stalked. Leaves lanceolate to narrowly ovate or oval, tapered at both ends, usually more slenderly at the apex; 2 to 5 in. long, 3⁄4 to 2 in. wide, finely toothed, glabrous, dark glossy green; stalks downy, 1⁄2 to 1 in. long. Male catkins opening in February or March, according to the warmth of the season, and produced in a terminal cluster of four to eight; each catkin erect, 2 to 31⁄2 in. long. Fruits oval, 3⁄4 in. long.
Native of Japan and continental N.E. Asia, the true date of whoseintroduction is not recorded. Plants obtained from Lee’s nursery had already reached the fruiting state at Kew in 1880. It is considered to have some relationship with the North American A. maritima, and has been regarded as a variety of it, but in the field it is quite distinct. It grows more than twice as high, has narrower, long-pointed leaves; and more than all, its habit of flowering in spring distinguishes it.
A. × spaethii Callier – A hybrid between A., japonica and A. subcordata, sent out by Späth of Berlin in 1908. Unfolding leaves, violet-purple.