A deciduous shrub 6 to 10 ft high, of graceful habit, or even a small tree 12 ft and upwards high; young shoots slender, at first downy, becoming glabrous and (the second year) purplish. Leaves on the barren shoots almost round with a bristle-like tip; 1 to 11⁄2 in. long, scarcely so wide; glabrous above, loosely downy and rather glaucous beneath; stalk up to 1⁄4 in. long. The leaves of the flower-bearing twigs are smaller and more oval. Flowers white with violet anthers, borne in May at the end of short leafy twigs in clusters of three to over a dozen. Fruit oval, 1⁄3 in. long, very dark red, usually containing one nutlet. Bot. Mag., t. 9389.
Native of the region from Yunnan to the E. Himalaya; discovered by Forrest in Yunnan in 1904 and introduced some six years later. It is a free-growing shrub suitable for woodland.
var. fulvidus W. W. Sm. – Leaves clad beneath with a yellowish down, closer and thicker than in the type.
var. incanus W. W. Sm. C. incanus (W. W. Sm.) Klotz – Leaves covered beneath with a close, grey down.
C majusculus (W. W. Sm.) Klotz C. hebephyllus var. majusculus W. W. Sm. – Leaves larger than in the type, of stouter texture; fruits globose. It was first described as a variety of C. hebephyllus but seems distinct enough to rank as a species.