A deciduous shrub up to about 8 ft high, of loose, spreading habit; branchlets glossy, glabrous, brown, either armed with simple or three-parted spines 1 in. long, or unarmed. Leaves grey-green, broadly ovate or oval, rounded at the apex; the blade 1 to 11⁄2 in. long, tapering at the base to a long, slender, reddish stalk, 2⁄3 to 1 in. long; margin sometimes almost or quite entire, more often set with fine teeth. Inflorescences drooping, long-stalked, three of which often issue from one tuft of leaves; one being large, racemose, with as many as fifteen flowers, the other two smaller, umbellate, with about three flowers. Each flower is on a slender stalk, fragrant, orange-yellow, opening in May. Fruit oblong or egg-shaped, 1⁄3 in. long, black, covered with blue bloom.
Native of Turkestan; introduced to Kew in 1886 from the St Petersburg Botanic Garden through Albert Regel. It is distinct by reason of its long, slender leaf-stalks, and long, drooping, many-flowered racemes, often flanked on either side by a few-flowered umbel.
From the Supplement (Vol. V)
Closely related to this species is B. oblonga (Reg.) Schneid. (B. heteropoda var. oblonga Reg.). The inflorescences bear more numerous flowers and the fruits have a short style (in B. heteropoda the stigma is sessile).