Description from Flora of China
Shrubs 1-1.5(-2) m tall. Branchlets pubescent when young, becoming glossy; nodal spines 3-7, stout, to 1 cm; internodes with dense, needlelike spines. Buds oblong, apex acute; scales scarious. Petiole 1.5-3 cm, pubescent and sparsely glandular hairy; leaf blade broadly ovate, 1.5-4 × 1.5-5 cm, pubescent when young, gradually glabrescent, abaxial veins sparsely glandular hairy, base truncate to cordate; lobes 3-5, margin coarsely obtusely dentate, apex obtuse to acute. Flowers axillary, solitary or 2 or 3 in short racemes, bisexual; bracts broadly ovate, 3-4 mm, pubescent, 3-veined; pedicel 5-10 mm, subglabrous, sometimes glandular hairy. Calyx brown to reddish brown, subglabrous; tube broadly campanulate, 3-4 mm; lobes spreading or reflexed, erect in fruit, oblong to spatulate, 6-7 mm. Petals white to pinkish, oblong to spatulate, 4-5 mm. Stamens subequaling petals; anthers ovoid-ellipsoid, without nectary at apex. Ovary glabrous, but with minute, yellowish brown spines. Style subequaling stamens, apex 2-lobed. Fruit reddish black when mature, globose, ca. 1 cm, glabrous, rarely villous, with numerous minute, yellowish brown spines. Fl. May-Jun, fr. Jul-Aug.
Coniferous, broad-leaved, and mixed forests, open woods, forest margins, thickets and stream banks in mountain regions; 900-2300 m. Gansu, Hebei, Heilongjiang, W Henan, E and S Jilin, E Liaoning, S Nei Mongol, SE Shaanxi, Shanxi [N Korea, Mongolia, Russia].