A deciduous scandent shrub up to 20 ft high, or dwarfer and of spreading habit, producing arching slender shoots several feet long in a season; young shoots glabrous, at first covered with a glaucous bloom, ultimately of a dark, shining, reddish brown. Leaves glabrous or slightly downy beneath, ovate-oblong, rounded, or slightly heart-shaped at the base, pointed, entire; 1 to 21⁄2 in. long, 1⁄2 to 11⁄2 in. wide; dark dull green above, rather glaucous beneath; veins in nine to thirteen pairs, parallel, running out to the margin unbranched; stalk 1⁄4 to 3⁄4 in. long. Flowers white, small, produced at the end of leafy shoots in a terminal pyramidal panicle, supplemented by smaller axillary ones, the whole 8 in. or more long. Fruits sausage-shaped, 1⁄3 in. long, at first red, finally black.
Native of China, in the provinces of Hupeh, Szechwan, and Shensi; discovered in the last-named by Giraldi. It is considered to be most nearly related to B. racemosa. It was introduced to Kew from Les Barres in France and is noticeable for its bright red-brown young shoots, graceful habit, and the numerous parallel veins of the leaves.