A deciduous shrub or small tree 10 ft or more high, with a spreading, loose head of branches, glabrous in all its parts; young shoots angled, winter buds elongated. Leaves oval, oblong or obovate, 3 to 5 in. long, 11⁄2 to 21⁄4 in. wide, rounded or wedge-shaped at the base, pointed, very finely and evenly toothed; stalk about 1⁄4 in. long. Flowers greenish, about 3⁄8 in. across, the parts normally in fives, produced in early May, seven to fifteen together, on very slender-stalked cymes 2 to 3 ins. long. Fruits pendulous, 3⁄4 in. across before bursting, rich rosy red with five, sometimes four, winged lobes; aril orange-coloured. Bot. Mag., t. 2384.
Native of Europe; introduced in 1730. Excepting the native E. europaeus, this is the most ornamental of all the genus in our gardens; its individual fruit is much larger and more effective than that of the common spindle-tree but is not borne in such profusion. Grown as a small tree in rich deep soil, it will reach 20 ft in height, and such a specimen, hung with its long-stalked fruit in September, is one of the most beautiful objects of autumn.