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A deciduous shrub, 4 to 8 ft high, with glabrous, ultimately greyish branchlets. Leaves ovate to roundish in main outline, but deeply three- or five-lobed, the lobes coarsely toothed and taper-pointed, the base wedge-shaped, rounded or slightly heart-shaped, 1 to 2 in. long, and from two-thirds to fully as much in width, dark green, and with appressed hairs above, especially on the veins; much paler beneath, with conspicuous tufts of pale down in the vein-axils, and with hairs along the midrib and veins; leaf-stalk 1⁄2 to 1 in. long, slender, glabrous; three or five main veins radiate from the top of the leaf-stalk. Corymbs without sterile flowers, 1 to 11⁄2 in. across, often seven-rayed. Flowers pinkish white, 1⁄4 in. wide; calyx glabrous. Fruits red, 1⁄3 to 1⁄2 in. long, oval to roundish.
Native of China, where it is apparently widely spread, being found in Kansu, Szechwan, and Yunnan; introduced by Wilson in 1908. It belongs to the Opulus group, but is distinct in having no marginal showy sterile flowers, which the other Chinese species (V. sargentii) has. The leaves also are very distinct in their frequently small size and deep lobing, some suggesting a small maple leaf. An elegant shrub needing a shaded position. The leaves turn dull red in autumn.