A deciduous climber up to 20 ft high, all the parts without down, producing long, twining young shoots. Leaves oval or broadly ovate, rounded or broadly wedge-shaped at the base, abruptly pointed; shallowly and distantly toothed; 2 to 51⁄2 in. long, 11⁄4 to 3 in. wide; dull dark green above, very pale beneath; stalk 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 in. long. Flowers greenish white, small, usually produced a few together in shortly stalked axillary cymes, rarely in terminal racemes. Fruits yellow, 1⁄3 in. wide; seed-coat red. Pith lamellate.
Native of Central China; discovered and introduced by Wilson (No. 503) in 1907. This species is very hardy at Kew and one of the most vigorous in the genus; it also has some of the largest leaves. C. orbiculatus is closely akin to it, but differs in its thinner, rounder leaves. The celastrus given an Award of Merit as “C. loeseneri” when shown in 1931 by the late Sir Frederick Stern later proved to be C. orbiculatus. Whether the true C. loeseneri is still in cultivation is not certain: the plants so labelled at Kew are not C. orbiculatus but their precise identity cannot be established until they flower and fruit.