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An elegant deciduous shrub of rounded form up to 9 or 10 ft high; young shoots angled (especially vigorous virgin shoots), purplish; spines single on weak shoots, three-pronged and 11⁄2 in. long on strong ones. Leaves obovate, oval, or oval-lanceolate, pointed, always tapering at the base to a stalk 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 in. long, finely toothed, 3⁄4 to 21⁄2 in. long. Flowers yellow, 1⁄3 in. wide, produced in June on slender drooping racemes or panicles 3 to 5 in. long; individual flower-stalks 1⁄8 to 1⁄3 in. long. Fruit oval, 3⁄8 to 1⁄2 in. long, scarlet, two-seeded, borne as many as fifty on a panicle. Bot. Mag., t. 9281.
Native of W. China; introduced by Wilson in 1900. Amongst the numerous species from the same region this is recognisable by the slender inflorescence (the slenderness due to the shortness of the flower-stalks) and the large pendulous bunches of scarlet berries. It is one of the most handsome of barberries, quite hardy and a good grower.
The inflorescence in this species is not fully paniculate; basically it is a raceme in which the lowermost pedicels are branched, each branch bearing a flower. The taxonomic position of this species, one of the handsomest of the deciduous sorts, is uncertain, and it is possibly a natural hybrid.