Description from Flora of China
Shrubs dioecious, more than 1 m tall, spinescent. Young branches gray-green, turning red-purple, puberulent or glabrous; old branches alternate, dark red or purple-black, shiny, smooth, glabrous, terminating in a spine; axillary buds ovoid, small, with few scales, sparsely hairy. Leaves alternate on long shoots, or 2-5-fascicled on short shoots; stipules linear, caducous; petiole 5-16 mm, white pilose; leaf blade abaxially gray-green or gray-white, adaxially dark green, obovate-elliptic, obovate, or ovate-elliptic, rarely ovate or broadly elliptic, 3-10 × 2-6 cm, thickly papery, both surfaces densely whitish pubescent, lateral veins 5-7(-8) pairs, prominent abaxially, impressed adaxially, base rounded or cuneate, margin obtusely serrulate or shallowly denticulate, or inconspicuously denticulate at lower margin, apex acute or shortly acuminate, rarely subrounded. Flowers yellow-green, unisexual, 4-merous, sparsely pilose. Pedicels ca. 5 mm, sparsely hairy. Male flowers few to 20; calyx tube narrowly campanulate; sepals narrowly triangular; petals present. Female flowers 1-10-fascicled on lower part of annual branches or on short shoots; calyx tube hemispherical; sepals narrowly triangular; petals absent; stamens rudimentary; ovary globose; style long, shortly 2- or 3-cleft apically. Drupe purple-black or black at maturity, obovoid-globose or globose, 6-8 mm, ca. 4 mm in diam., with 2 or 3 stones, with persistent calyx tube at base; fruiting pedicel 5-16 mm, sparsely hairy. Seeds brown, shiny, oblong-obovoid, ca. 7 mm, abaxially with margined furrow ca. as long as seeds. Fl. Apr-May, fr. Jun-Sep.
● Mountain forests and thickets, thickets on slopes, thicket margins, slopes, along canals, roadsides; 500-2300 m. Anhui, S Gansu, Guangdong, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi, S Shaanxi, S Shanxi, E Sichuan, Zhejiang.