An evergreen shrub up to 20 ft high, of lax or scandent habit, quite free from down in leaf and twig; young shoots slender. Leaves 3 to 6 in. long, 1 to 13⁄4 in. wide, lanceolate, wedge-shaped at the base, gradually tapered at the apex to a long slender point; shallowly and rather distinctly toothed; conspicuously veined beneath; stalk 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 in. long. Fruits four-lobed, borne on a main-stalk 11⁄2 in. long; they are clothed with conspicuous, awl-shaped spines 1⁄5 in. long, and are altogether about 3⁄4 in. across; aril yellow.
Introduced from Mt Omei in W. China by Wilson in 1904, and now growing vigorously in the collection at Kew. It is distinct from cultivated spindle-trees in the remarkable hedgehog-like fruits.