A deciduous shrub 5 or 6 ft high; young shoots distinctly square and four-angled, not downy. Leaves linear to oblanceolate, rounded at the end, tapered at the base, margins indistinctly toothed or entire; 1⁄2 to 7⁄8 in. long, 1⁄16 to 1⁄8 in. wide; rather pale green and quite glabrous; stalk 1⁄16 in. long. Flowers borne in June on slender-stalked short cymes, one to three together, green. Fruit four-lobed, scarcely 1⁄2 in. wide, four-winged, rich rosy red, eventually showing the scarlet-coated seeds. The fruits are pendulous and usually solitary on a slender stalk 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 in. long.
Native of Yunnan, China; discovered by Forrest in 1913 and introduced by him. It is undoubtedly one of the most distinct species in cultivation on account of its small narrow leaves, resembling in this respect E. nanus-, that species, however, is quite different in its low, prostrate mode of growth. Seen in October with its richly coloured fruits hanging thickly from the underside of its branchlets, E. oresbius is very charming. There is a specimen in the Royal Horticultural Society’s Garden at Wisley some 9 ft in height, which is the parent of the plants now at Kew.