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A tree up to 20 ft high, forming a round dense head of branches; young shoots glabrous; not, or but little, armed. Leaves of two distinct types, viz. – (1) those of the barren shoots: diamond-shaped, tapered and entire at the base, the upper part sharply pointed, deeply lobed (after the fashion of monogyna), the lobes sharply and irregularly toothed; 11⁄2 to 3 in. long, 11⁄4 to 21⁄2 in. wide; stalk 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 in. long; (2) those of the flowering shoots: much smaller, oblong, obovate or oval, sometimes entire or with a few teeth at the apex only, sometimes the upper leaves of the shoot conspicuously three-lobed at the apex; 1 to 11⁄2 in. long, 1⁄3 to 3⁄4 in. wide. All the leaves are glossy dark green and quite glabrous. There are large, coarsely toothed stipules on the barren shoots, none on the flowering ones. Flowers white, 3⁄4 in. across, borne during May and June in corymbs 2 to 3 in. across; flower-stalks and calyx glabrous; stamens fifteen to twenty, styles solitary. Fruit bright red, slenderly oval, 1⁄2 to 5⁄8 in. long.
Native of Armenia; cultivated since the beginning of the nineteenth century; not now very frequently seen, although there is an example about 30 ft high in the Royal Victoria Park, Bath. It is a beautiful thorn of the Oxyacantha group, bearing its large flowers and bright fruits freely. It is also one of the most distinct by reason of its variously shaped leaves, its long narrow fruits, and the absence of down from the younger parts.