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A deciduous, dioecious shrub of striking appearance and remarkable vigour; ultimately 10 ft high and 20 to 30 ft through, with strong, spreading branches marked with lenticels, becoming corky the second year; pith lamellate. Leaves much larger than in any other hardy species; from 4 to 8 in. long, by 21⁄2 to 6 in. wide; broadly oval or almost orbicular, with a short, abrupt, blunt apex, shallow rounded teeth at the margin, and a short stalk from 1⁄2 to 1 in. long. Flowers small, greenish, produced in a terminal panicle 4 to 6 in. long and 2 in. wide. Fruit a roundish, obscurely three-sided capsule 1⁄2 in. across; when the valves of the capsule burst open, they show the orange-coloured inner surface and the bright red, fleshy covering of the seeds.
Native of the Hupeh province of China; introduced by Messrs Veitch in 1900. The dioecious character of the species is a disadvantage in gardens, as it is necessary to have two plants to obtain fruits, which with such large, spreading ones as this is not always convenient.