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A deciduous shrub 3 to 6 ft high, of dense, rounded habit, with grey, grooved branchlets, armed with three- or five-parted spines up to 1 in. long. Leaves obovate, sometimes almost orbicular, 3⁄4 to 11⁄2 in. long, 1⁄3 to 2⁄3, rarely 1 in. wide, rounded or pointed at the apex, tapering to a stalk at the base; margins mostly entire on the flowering twigs, more often toothed on the sterile ones. Flowers pale yellow, three to eight in a cluster; 3⁄4 in. across; flower-stalks slender, 3⁄4 to 11⁄4 in. long. Berries oval, bright red, 1⁄2 in. long.
Native of W. China; first discovered in Yunnan by Delavay in 1885, at an altitude of 10,000 ft. It reached cultivation by way of France, and was introduced to Kew in 1904. It is a pretty shrub, and is distinct in regard to the size of its flowers and fruit, both of which are amongst the largest in the genus. It is also one of the most beautiful in its autumn livery of crimson.