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A deciduous shrub, with erect, sturdy biennial stems, 6 to 10 ft high, branching towards the top, covered with soft, grey, velvety down, and armed with short broad-based, scattered prickles. Leaves from 6 to 12 in. long, composed of three or five (pinnately arranged) leaflets, the side ones of which are obliquely ovate, 2 to 4 in. long, 1 to 21⁄2 in. wide, fine-pointed, rounded at the base, irregularly toothed and very shortly stalked, slightly hairy and dark glossy green above, covered beneath with a close white felt, interspersed with hairs on the veins, terminal leaflet larger, broader, longer-stalked, often three-lobed, and heart-shaped at the base. The main-stalk has hooked prickles and is covered with the same velvety down as the stem. Flowers small (1⁄3 to 1⁄2 in. wide), produced in large terminal panicles, 1 to 11⁄2 ft long; petals pink and soon falling. Fruits orange-red, rounded, 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 in. wide, of good flavour.
Native of Central and W. China; first introduced to Kew by Henry from Ichang in 1886, but most of the plants now in cultivation were introduced by Wilson between 1900 and 1907. The species is of some promise as a fruit-bearer, but has little to recommend it for ornament. It has been confused with R. innominatus S. Moore, a species very closely allied, but distinct in its glandular stems, leaf-stalks, inflorescence, and calyx.