A deciduous small tree up to 25 ft high, with a trunk 3 ft in girth, or a shrub; young shoots glabrous; terminal winter buds pointed, up to 1⁄2 in. long. Leaves ovate or ovate-oblong, toothed, tapered towards each end; 11⁄2 to 31⁄2 in. long, 1 to 13⁄4 in. wide; dull green above, pale beneath, glabrous on both sides; stalk 1⁄6 in. long. Inflorescence a twice- or thrice-branched cyme; flowers 3⁄8 in. wide; petals rounded, greenish purple. Fruit nearly globose, pendulous on long slender stalks, slightly ribbed, rich carmine, 1⁄2 in. wide before bursting; afterwards, when the five, sometimes only four, lobes separate, it is 1 in. wide, revealing the scarlet-coated seeds within. Bot. Mag., t. 8639.
Native of Japan and Korea; introduced to this country in 1895. It is very similar in general appearance to E. latifolius, but is easily recognised in fruit by the capsules being without the prominent wings characteristic of that species and having only slightly raised lines. A perhaps nearer ally is E. planipes, but that is distinguished by its smaller, more distinctly angled fruits. When freely furnished with its richly coloured fruits hanging on their long slender stalks, usually in September, E. oxyphyllus is very handsome. At Westonbirt in mid-October there are few more beautiful shrubs than this. The autumn colour of the leaves is a dusky purplish red which, with the bright orange of the arils and the rich maroon of the capsules, creates a most striking display. The bushes there are some 6 to 8 ft in height, of an elegant wine-glass shape.