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A deciduous or semi-evergreen shrub to 8 ft high; young growth red, maturing to reddish brown. Spines usually three-parted, up to 2⁄3 in. long, but sometimes absent from parts of the stem. Leaves slightly lustrous above, waxy grey below, prominently net-veined on both sides, about 11⁄2 in. long and 3⁄5 in. wide, obovate to oblanceolate, tapering abruptly to a short petiole; leaf-margins edged with spiny teeth. Flowers three to six together in a cluster on short umbellate raceme, borne in May. Berries oblong, 2⁄5 in. long, dark red and bloomy. Bot. Mag., n.s., t. 145.
Native of the Himalaya from Kumaon and Nepal. Although first described early in the nineteenth century this species long remained obscure; plants raised and distributed under the name usually proved to be some species of the Section Tinctoriae. However, around 1935 Dr Ahrendt, the well-known authority on the genus, received from Messrs Smith of Newry a plant which had originated from the German nursery firm of Späth. This proved to be the true species, and it is this plant that is figured in the Botanical Magazine.