A deciduous shrub up to 10 ft. high, bushy; branches not downy, armed with stout, pale spines, pointing downwards. Leaves composed of five leaflets radiating from the end of a slender stalk 2 or 3 in. long, and often armed with a few slender prickles. Leaflets of different sizes; the terminal one the largest, sometimes 5 or 6 in. long and 11⁄2 to 2 in. wide; the lower pair much smaller; all lanceolate, long-pointed, tapering at the base to a short stalk; sharply, somewhat coarsely toothed, the teeth set with one or two bristles; dark green, and furnished with scattered bristly hairs above, paler and similarly bristly beneath. Flowers in a terminal cluster of umbels, each umbel on a stalk 1 to 2 in. long. Fruits 1⁄4 in. long, black, each on a slender glabrous stalk 1⁄2 in. long.
Native of China; first appeared in Europe in the nursery of Simon-Louis, near Metz (probably raised from seed collected by a French missionary), and also introduced by Wilson for the Veitch nurseries in 1901.