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A deciduous shrub up to 15 or 20 ft high, of graceful habit, with wide-spreading, arching branches, young shoots grey, glabrous. Leaves made up of three leaflets borne on a glabrous slender stalk up to 21⁄2 in. long. Leaflets stalkless or nearly so, without or nearly without teeth; the side ones obliquely ovate, middle one obovate or oval, pointed; 11⁄2 to 21⁄2 in. long; pale bright green and quite glabrous. Flowers white, borne in July in short-stalked umbels, each flower on a stalk 1⁄4 to 5⁄16 in. long, covered with whitish down. Fruit black, egg-shaped or obovoid, 5⁄16 in. long, the calyx scar at the top downy; styles two, only united near the base, curving outwards.
Native of W. China; introduced to Kew from France in 1912. It succeeds very well at Kew, where there are handsome graceful bushes 12 ft high and as much in diameter. When well furnished with the black fruits they have an interesting appearance. On the whole it is one of the hardiest and most satisfactory of the hardy Araliads. It is distinct in its small, usually entire, glabrous leaflets and especially in the two styles (which adhere to the top of the fruit) being united only at the base and curving outwards. The plants at Kew have stout, broad-based spines 1⁄2 in. wide on the old branches, but the younger parts are unarmed.