A deciduous shrub of rounded form, usually below 3 ft in height, with reddish branches armed with slender spines up to 1⁄2 in. long. Leaves thin, varying from narrowly obovate to oval, 1 to 21⁄2 in. long, tapered at the base to a short stalk, the margins crowded with fine bristles. Flowers pale yellow, 1⁄3 in. across, in short umbel-like racemes. Fruit globose, about 1⁄5 in. across, yellowish red, shining as if glazed.
Native of Japan. It is an attractive small shrub of suckering habit, which colours well in the autumn if planted in a dry and sunny position. It is not common in cultivation, B. regeliana (q.v. under B. vulgaris) usually doing duty for it.
B. quelpaertensis Nakai – A native of Quelpaert Island (Cheju Do), which lies between Japan and Korea. It is closely allied to the preceding but Dr Ahrendt observes that in its yellow stems and more distinctly racemose inflorescence it tends towards B. vulgaris. It colours well in the autumn and the large crimson fruits are held from early autumn until the year's end. Introduced by Messrs Marchant.
B. dubia Schneid. – This native of Kansu and Mongolia is represented at Kew by an old plant of uncertain origin. It may have been raised from seed sent by the Russian explorer Przewalski to the St Petersburg Botanical Garden some ninety years ago. The species is related to B. sieboldii, but has coarsely spinose leaves and oblong berries.