A deciduous shrub up to 9 or 10 ft high; young shoots glabrous, distinctly grooved, reddish brown. Spines weak, single, 1⁄4 in. or less long, often absent. Leaves obovate or oval, rounded at the end, tapering at the base to a slender stalk 1⁄4 to 1 in. long; often without marginal teeth, sometimes with a few spiny teeth; blade 3⁄4 to 2 in. long, 3⁄8 to 1 in. wide; distinctly net-veined and rather glaucous beneath. Flowers yellow, 1⁄4 to 1⁄3 in. wide, produced eight to twelve together on racemes 1 to 21⁄2 in. long, each on a slender stalk 3⁄4 to 7⁄8 in. long. Fruit roundish egg-shaped, 2⁄5 in. long, scarlet.
Native of W. China; introduced to this country from the Arnold Arboretum in 1912, under the Wilson number 955. This barberry may usually be recognised by the following combination of characters: the long-stalked often toothless leaves; the weak, solitary, or often absent spines; and the rather long individual flower-stalks. It is quite hardy, grows freely, and has about the same garden value as B. vulgaris.