A deciduous climber up to 20 ft high, devoid of down in all its parts, the young shoots assuming a brownish purple tinge during their second year. Leaves oval, or obovate, pointed, tapered at the base, edged with shallow incurved teeth; 2 to 4 in. long, 1 to 21⁄2 in. wide; slightly glaucous above, distinctly so beneath; stalk 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 in. long. Flowers green, small and inconspicuous, produced a few together in the leaf-axils and in short terminal racemes. Fruits at first egg-shaped, 3⁄8 in. long, with a short spine-like tip, yellow; when the three-parted outer shell splits, the scarlet-coated seeds are revealed. Pith lamellate.
Native of W. China; discovered by Wilson in 1904, introduced by him in 1908 (No. 952). This species is growing at Kew, but is one of the least vigorous of the celastruses. It does not appear much inclined to twine. Its most distinctive characters are the glaucousness of both sides of the leaves and the combination of terminal and axillary inflorescences. It may be confused with C. hypoleucus but the leaves of that species are even more glaucous beneath and longer stalked, its terminal racemes are up to 8 in. long, and the fruit-stalks are 11⁄4 in. (or three times as) long.