An evergreen, dwarf shrub of dense, hemispherical habit, probably never much more than 3 to 4 ft high; the branches rigidly arching, quite glabrous, bright brown, armed at each joint with a trio of stiff, sharp, pale brown spines, up to 5⁄8 in. long. Leaves produced in tufts in the axils of the spines, dark shining green above, vividly blue-white beneath; 1⁄2 to 11⁄4 in. long, 1⁄6 to 3⁄8 in. wide; oblong or narrowly oval, terminated by a minute, slender spine, and armed with a few similar ones on the recurved margins; very shortly stalked. Flowers bright yellow, somewhat globose, 5⁄8 in. across, solitary, on a slender stalk about 1⁄2 in. long. Fruit oval, covered with a purple bloom, 1⁄2 in. long.
Native of China; first collected by Farges, and raised in 1895 by M. Maurice de Vilmorin. It flowered in 1900, and was figured in the Fruticetum Vilmorinianum, p. 15, as “B. wallichiana var. pallida”. It was later introduced by Wilson for the Veitch nurseries. It is most likely to be confused with B. verruculosa, but that species is of looser habit and the leaves are only glaucous beneath, not conspicuously white as in B. candidula. Its neat, dense habit and slow increase in size make it suitable for the rock garden, but it will in time attain a considerable spread – to 5 ft or even more.