A deciduous tree up to 25 ft high, of loose, graceful habit; young shoots long, slender, at first closely covered with grey down, becoming glabrous later. Leaves ovate to lanceolate in main outline, but usually deeply lobed, the pointed or bluntish lobes numbering three to seven, basal leaves of shoot often entire, apex of leaf pointed, sometimes slenderly so, base narrowly wedge-shaped to truncate, 11⁄4 to 31⁄2 in. long, 3⁄4 to 2 in. wide, both surfaces slightly downy at first, but the upper one becoming quite glabrous, the lower one remaining more or less downy on the midrib and veins, margins slightly toothed; leaf-stalk slender, downy, 3⁄4 to 11⁄2 in. long. Flowers six to eight together in corymbs terminating short leafy spurs, opening in May; each flower is 3⁄4 to 1 in. wide, borne on a slender downy stalk 3⁄4 to 1 in. long; petals creamy white; calyx-tube bell-shaped, the lobes awl-shaped, the whole clothed with grey down. Fruits obovoid to globose, 3⁄8 to 5⁄8 in. long, pendulous, yellow, flushed deeply with scarlet on the sunny side, the calyx fallen away from the top. Bot. Mag., t. 8948.
Native of W. Szechwan, China; introduced by Wilson for Messrs Veitch in 1904. This is a very beautiful addition to cultivated crabs, uniting a graceful habit with exquisite colouring of fruit. It is in its highest beauty in September and October. Miss Willmott showed it at Westminster in October 1919, when it was given an Award of Merit.
M. transitoria (Batal.) Schneid. Pyrus transitoria Batal. – This species, under which Rehder originally placed M. toringoides as a variety, is also in cultivation. It has more downy, shorter leaves (up to 2 in. or so long) with narrower, deeper lobes, and rarely are the leaves entire. The calyx-lobes are usually shorter and more triangular, and the fruits are smaller (up to about 3⁄8 in. long). Native of N.W. China; introduced by Purdom from Kansu. It makes a more slender tree than M. toringoides.