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A deciduous shrub, 8 to 10 ft high (it has been found 15 ft high in the wild), with erect or arching, stout, biennial stems, branching towards the top; glabrous, but covered with a blue-white bloom, and armed with stiff, broad-based spines, up to 1⁄2 in. long. Leaves pinnate, 6 to 10 in. long, composed usually of seven leaflets, which are ovate or broadly oval, from 11⁄2 to 3 in. long, 1 to 2 in. wide, the lateral ones stalkless or nearly so, tapering at the base and smaller than the terminal one, which is broader, rounded or heart-shaped at the base, and stalked; all are parallel-veined, dark lustrous green, coarsely toothed, except towards the base, and have silky hairs on the veins when young. Flowers borne in flattish clusters 1 to 3 in. across, terminating short shoots from the wood of the previous year. Fruits of various colours from red to nearly black, edible but small, and of poor flavour.
Native of Korea and China; introduced from the latter country in 1907 by Wilson, who found it at altitudes up to 6,000 ft. It is one of the handsomest of all Rubi in its vigorous blue-white stems and beautiful pinnate foliage.