A small tree or large shrub; young shoots clothed with a soft close down which persists into the second season, intermixed with which are a few pale warts; bark of adult trees silvery or pinkish grey. Leaves broadly ovate, pointed, rounded or slightly heart-shaped to broadly wedge-shaped at the base; coarsely and unequally toothed; 11⁄2 to 2 in. long, two-thirds to quite as much wide; dullish dark green and slightly hairy above, hairy on the veins and in the vein-axils beneath; veins in about six or seven pairs; stalk 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 in. long, hairy.
Native of the Caucasus, where it occurs at 5,000 to 6,500 ft altitude. First described in 1887, it was not, so far as I am aware, introduced to this country until 1924, when it was sent to Kew from Budapest. It is very hardy, of rather close growth, its most notable character in its juvenile state being the velvety clothing of down on the young shoots. Female catkins ovoid to elliptical, erect, twice as long as wide.