A deciduous tree up to 20 or 50 ft high, with a slender trunk; branchlets downy, the down persisting through the first winter. Leaves ovate or oval, pointed, rounded to cuneate at the base, 11⁄2 to 3 in. long, 3⁄4 to 11⁄4 in. wide, doubly toothed, downy on the midrib and veins beneath, and with scattered hairs above; stalk 1⁄3 to 1⁄2 in. long, downy. Flowers rather dull yellowish white, about 5⁄8 in. across, produced in mid-May on stalked racemes 2 to 31⁄2 in. long, remarkable for the large leaf-like bracts with which they are furnished; from six to ten flowers occur on a raceme, each flower on a downy stalk 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 in. long calyx hairy, with pointed, toothed lobes. Fruits globose, 1⁄6 in. wide, shining, at first red, then black; ripe in August.
Native of Korea, Manchuria, and Japan; introduced by Sargent to the United States in 1892, and by him sent to Kew in 1895. The tree is interesting and very distinct among cherries because of the conspicuous bracts on the inflorescence, which remain until the fruit is ripe; but neither in flower nor fruit is it particularly attractive as cherries go. It is very hardy. In autumn it turns a brilliant scarlet both in Japan and N. America, but in this country the colouring is not so striking.