A deciduous tree 45 to 50 ft high; young shoots at first silky-hairy, soon glabrous. Leaves ovate to oval, rounded or slightly heart-shaped at the base, abruptly narrowed to a long and slender point, doubly toothed; 11⁄2 to 31⁄2 in. long, 1 to 11⁄2 in. wide; glabrous except for a few silky hairs and axil-tufts of down beneath. Fruiting catkins loosely pendulous, 2 to 3 in. long, the bracts 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 in. long, usually three-lobed at the base, the middle lobe narrow and jagged on one side. Nutlets slightly dotted with resin.
Native of Japan; introduced in 1914, but not common in cultivation. Its distinctive points are the long slender apex of the leaf, the loose fruit raceme, and the small bracts with a long central lobe. A more common tree in gardens is the Chinese variety known as
var. macrostachya Oliver C. fargesii Franch. – This variety was discovered by Henry and introduced to Veitch’s Coombe Wood nursery in 1900. It differs from the Japanese type in its bigger leaves (the larger ones 4 in. by
2 in.) and the often longer, stouter fruit-catkins up to 5 in. long by nearly 2 in. wide; the fruiting bracts are up to 1 in. in length. It is quite hardy and a good grower.