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An evergreen small tree occasionally 20 to 30 ft high in the wild, more often a shrub half as high; branches stiff, densely furnished with leaves, and clothed with a short dense pubescence when young. Leaves squarish at the base, with a long triangular apex and two large spines, and often a smaller one, at each side, 5⁄8 to 2 in. long, 3⁄8 to 1 in. wide, dark glossy green, leathery; stalk 1⁄12 in. long, at first downy like the young shoot. Flowers pale yellow, produced in minute axillary clusters, the sepals roundish and edged with minute hairs. Fruits stalkless or nearly so, red, roundish oblong, 1⁄4 in. in diameter, with two to four stones.
Native of Central and W. China; discovered in 1858 by the Abbé Perny; introduced by Wilson for Messrs Veitch in 1900. It appears to be widely spread and common in certain parts of China. It bears most resemblance to I. cornuta, but its smaller leaves, with the apices much more elongated, and its downy shoots distinguish it. Its habit, when young at least, is slenderly pyramidal and very shapely, and altogether it is a charming addition to dwarf, slow-growing evergreens. Paul Perny, after whom it is named, was a courageous French missionary who worked in the province of Kweichow between 1848 and 1862. He was the first naturalist who explored that province, which he is said to have originally entered in the guise of a Chinese beggar.
I. veitchii Veitch nom. nud .
I. pernyi f. veitchii (Bean) Rehd.
I. bioritsensis var.ovatifolia Li