A deciduous tree 40 ft or more high; young shoots clothed with a velvety down. Leaves up to 10 in. long, composed of seven to eleven leaflets, which are very shortly stalked, oblong-lanceolate with a long tapered point, obliquely rounded at the base, entire, 2 to 4 in. long, 1 to 11⁄2 in. wide, dull green and downy above, paler and clothed beneath with a soft velvety down, especially on the midrib and the nine to thirteen pairs of veins. Flowers small and very numerous, yellowish white, produced in August in a cluster of compound umbels from the end of the current year’s shoots and from the uppermost leaf-axils. These flower clusters are 6 to 7 in. wide and high, the stalks velvety like the young shoots. The individual flower is about 1⁄8 in. wide; petals narrow oblong; calyx, ovary, and the very short thick stalk downy. Fruit purplish brown, hairy, 1⁄5 in. wide, with a minute beak. Seeds shining black.
Native of W. Szechwan, China; discovered and introduced in 1908 by Wilson (No. 994). It is very distinct in the soft velvety down of the various parts. So far as I know, it first flowered with the late C. J. Lucas of Warnham Court, Sussex, who gave me a flowering shoot in August 1918. It is quite hardy at Kew.
E. henryi Dode – Leaves 6 to 12 in. long. Leaflets five to nine, ovate to ovate-lanceolate, slender-pointed, tapered or rounded at the base, shallowly notched on the margin; 2 to 4 in. long, about half as wide, becoming quite glabrous on both sides, pale and rather glaucous beneath; stalk about 1⁄4 in. long. Introduced from Hupeh in 1908 by Wilson (No. 324). It is allied to E. velutina but distinguished by the beaked fruit, the almost glabrous leaves and the small pyramidal inflorescence.