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A low, deciduous, twiggy shrub of sprawling habit 1 to 2 ft high, and twice or thrice as wide; the slender branches often spine-tipped; young wood glabrous and whitish; bark loose. Leaves oval or obovate to roundish, 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 in. long, glabrous, blue-green. Flowers 1⁄3 in. across, white, rosy-tinted, borne in small axillary clusters on short, spine-tipped, lateral twigs; sepals four, the two large inner ones roundish, veined, persisting and keeping their colour a long time, ultimately becoming flat, membranous, rounded, 1⁄3 in. across, pressed close together with the two-edged fruit between them. It blossoms in August.
A widely spread species, native of W. Asia, S.E. Europe, the Near East, etc.; cultivated since early in the eighteenth century. In some of its drier native localities its leaves are very small. Very pretty and interesting in flower and fruit. Although sometimes confounded with A. frutescens, it is easily distinguished by its two-edged fruit, spiny branchlets, and smaller leaves.