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An evergreen shrub up to 6 ft high, of stiff bushy habit; young shoots greyish, armed with yellowish, three-parted spines 1 to 11⁄2 in. long, very stiff, hard and sharp. Leaves linear-oblong, narrowing towards the base, abruptly and sharply pointed, with ten to twelve slender teeth on each of the decurved margins; 11⁄2 to 4 in. long, 1⁄4 to 5⁄8 in. wide; veins indiscernible beneath. Flowers yellow, on stalks 1⁄2 in. or less in length, borne in clusters of about eight in the leaf-axils. Fruit globose, 1⁄4 in. wide, black, covered with glaucous bloom, the conspicuous style adhering at the apex. Flowers in May.
Native of Central China; introduced to France in 1897, and first cultivated by Maurice de Vilmorin at Les Barres, afterwards put on sale by Lemoine of Nancy under the name of “B. sanguinea”. It differs from the true B. sanguinea by its short flower-stalks and more formidable spines.