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A densely branched deciduous shrub to about 6 ft high with glabrous shoots, red when young, later grey. Spines thin, about 1⁄2 in. long, simple or three-parted. Leaves entire, oblanceolate, obovate, or lanceolate, 1⁄2 to 11⁄2 in. long, blunt at the apex, tapering at the base into a very short stalk, dull grey-green above, greyish beneath. Flowers clustered, or in a short-stalked umbel or condensed raceme. Berries deep lustrous red, oblong to pear-shaped, about 2⁄5 in. long, without a style.
Native of China in Yunnan and S.W. Szechwan; discovered by the French missionary Delavay, and an old plant at Kew was probably raised from seed sent by him to France about 1885. It was later collected by Forrest and is in cultivation from his seed also. It closely resembles B. thunbergii.