A small tree, rarely seen more than 10 to 15 ft high, sometimes a low shrub, but said by Sargent to become 30 ft high in the wild; branches arching or pendulous; young shoots downy the first year. Leaves dull green, very variable in shape, and either narrowly oval, ovate, deeply three-lobed, or of some intermediate shape; they are 1 to 21⁄2 in. long, sharply, irregularly, and often coarsely toothed, downy on both sides, but especially beneath, tapering at the base to a downy stalk 1⁄4 to 3⁄4 in. long. Flowers pale pink to deep rose, 3⁄8 in. in diameter, produced during April in clusters of three to six, each flower on a downy, slender, almost thread-like stalk 3⁄4 to 1 in. long. Fruits globose, the size of a small pea, red or brownish yellow, with no calyx-lobes at the top.
Native of Japan; introduced by Siebold in 1856, and a small tree of very graceful habit, distinct among crabs for its variable, often deeply cut leaves, and its tiny fruits (see also M. sargentii and M. × zumi). It is allied to M. floribunda, but is not so valuable a garden tree, its blossoms being shorter lived.
For the epithet ‘toringo’ used by Siebold, see under M. prunifolia var. rinki.
M. × sublobata Rehd. M. ringo f. sublobata Dipp. – A hybrid between M. sieboldii and M. prunifolia var. rinki, described from a plant raised in the Arnold Arboretum from seeds which Prof. Sargent had brought from Japan, where the first parent is wild and the second cultivated. Something similar, according to Rehder, had been cultivated by Zabel in Germany under the name Pyrus ringo var. sublobata. Leaves narrowly elliptic or elliptic-oblong, those on the extension growths broader and slightly lobed. Calyx with long hairs. Styles four or five. Fruits with or without a persistent calyx, about 5⁄8 in. wide, yellow.