The Japanese Raisin Tree (Hovenia dulcis) is a hardy tree (zone 5) that occurs from Japan, over Eastern China and Korea to the Himalayas (up to altitudes of 2,000 m), growing preferably in a sunny position on moist sandy or loamy soils.
It has however been introduced as an ornamental tree to several countries. The glossy leaves are large and pointed. The trees bear clusters of small cream-coloured hermaphrodytic flowers in July. The drupes appear at the ends of edible fleshy fruit stalks, which is a type of accessory fruit.
Its not the fruit you eat but the fleshy thickened fruit stalks, when dried, have the sweet flavour and texture of raisins and can be used in the same way. They have a pear-like flavour when ripe, which is when they fall to the ground. They may be small in size but are usually in copious amounts. The other beauty of these fruits is that you don't need to dry them.The brown pod which is actually the fruit is not used.