A deciduous tree up to 25 ft high in the wild; stems clad with short erect hairs. Leaves obovate, mostly 21⁄2 to 33⁄8 in. long, 1 to 11⁄2 in. wide, broadly obtuse at the apex with a short acute or acuminate tip, tapered to an often very narrow wedge-shaped base, glabrous on both sides except for short spreading hairs on the veins and in the vein-axils beneath, vein-pairs eight to twelve, the veins mostly branching near the margin and ending in short, hooked, mucronate teeth; petiole about 1⁄2 in. long, clad with erect brownish hairs. Flowers very small, white, crowded, borne in August in sparsely branched panicles terminating axillary or leading shoots and 8 to 12 in. long; inflorescence axes rusty-hairy. Fruits red, globose, 3⁄16 in. wide.
A native of Western and Central China; discovered by Wilson in 1903 when collecting for Messrs Veitch, but apparently not introduced until 1936, when seeds were received at Kew from Nanking. There are two examples in the collection: one was recently moved to a new position near the Victoria Gate, where it is now growing well but has never flowered; the other, in a bed between the northern end of the Holly Avenue and the Lake, was flowering, though not strikingly, in August 1971.
Unfortunately this species appears to have been distributed from Kew under the name M. “parvifolia”.