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A deciduous shrub 6 to 10 ft high, of vigorous spreading habit; young shoots glabrous, furnished with four conspicuous corky wings, which give them a square shape. Leaves oval to obovate, slender-pointed, tapered to almost rounded at the base, finely and bluntly toothed; 2 to 41⁄2 in. long, 1 to 2 in. wide; dullish green above, strongly veined beneath, glabrous on both sides; veins in seven to eleven pairs; stalk 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 in. long. Flowers three to seven on a cyme less than 1 in. long; anthers purple. Fruits four-lobed, four-angled, 1⁄2 in. wide, rich rosy red; aril deep red.
Native of Kansu and Shensi, China; collected in the latter province by Giraldi in 1894. The plants in cultivation were introduced by Farrer under his number 392. At Highdown, near Worthing, there is a large bush raised from this seed. E. phellomanus is quite hardy at Kew and has borne fruit there. Its most conspicuous feature is the corky-winged young shoots, and on that account it can only be confused with E. alatus. But it is quite distinct from alatus in the larger, longer-stalked, conspicuously net-veined leaves. The deeply divided (almost separate) egg-shaped lobes of the fruit of E. alatus are also very distinctive.