A deciduous shrub up to 10 ft high; young shoots indistinctly four-angled, glabrous. Leaves linear-lanceolate to lanceolate, gradually tapered to the pointed apex, more abruptly so towards the base, very finely toothed; 1 to 2 in. long, 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 in, wide; quite glabrous. Flowers produced during May and June generally in threes at the end of a slender, thread-like stalk 1 to 11⁄2 in. long. They are about 1⁄4 in. wide and Wilson gives their colour as ‘dark red’, Forrest as ‘dull greenish crimson’. The fruit is four-lobed, not winged, about 1⁄2 in. wide before splitting, seed-coat orange.
Originally named in 1866 from material collected in Turkestan. What is considered to be this species was also found by Wilson in Szechwan in 1908 and by Forrest in the same province in 1922. I saw a healthy plant in the Arboretum of the Edinburgh Botanic Garden, blooming very freely in June 1931 (flowers green), but I learn it has never borne fruit there. Its leaves were then linear and about 1 in. long, borne on gracefully arching branches. The whole shrub struck me as attractive, even without fruit. This plant is now (1966) 8 ft high and 10 ft across. It has never fruited.