Shrubs or small trees, deciduous, to 3(-6) m tall. Bark gray-brownish or gray-whitish. Branchlets of current year yellow or yellow-whitish stellate-tomentose; branchlets of previous year gray-brownish or gray-whitish, terete, glabrous, with dispersed, small, rounded lenticels. Winter buds naked, yellow or yellow-whitish stellate-tomentose. Leaves always opposite, not clustered at apices of branchlets; stipules absent; petiole green, robust, 1-2(-3) cm, yellow or yellow-whitish stellate-tomentose; leaf blade yellowish white when young, ovate-elliptic, ovate, or broadly ovate, rarely suborbicular, obovate, or obovate-oblong, (3.5-)6-10(-19) × (2.5-)3.5-8(-10) cm, papery, abaxially at first densely but later sparsely stellate-tomentose, adaxially sparsely stellate-pubescent, midvein raised abaxially, lateral veins 5-11-jugate, pinnate, arched, branched, ending in teeth, raised abaxially, slightly impressed adaxially, veinlets transverse, slightly raised or inconspicuous abaxially, inconspicuous adaxially, not lobed, base rounded or ± slightly obliquely cordate, without glands, margin dentate, apex obtuse, acute, or shortly acuminate. Flowers appearing with leaves; inflorescence a compound umbel-like cyme, terminal, 3-6 cm in diam.; rays whorled; first node of inflorescence with (4 or)5-7(-9) rays, dense, yellow or yellow-whitish stellate-tomentose, without large sterile radiant flowers; peduncle 1-2.5(-7) cm; bracts caducous, leaflike, green, linear-lanceolate, stellate-pubescent; bracteoles linear. Flowers on rays of 3rd order, not fragrant, shortly pedicellate. Calyx greenish; tube tubular-obconical, 1.5-3 mm, stellate-tomentose; lobes triangular, small, 1-2 mm, ca. as long as or less than 2 × as long as calyx tube, stellate-tomentose, apex acute. Corolla white, rotate, ca. 5 mm in diam., glabrous; tube 1.5-2.5 mm; lobes spreading, ovate-orbicular, ca. 2 mm, nearly as long as or slightly longer than tube, apex rounded, margin entire. Stamens slightly taller than corolla lobes, inserted near base of corolla tube; filaments ca. 7 mm; anthers yellow, subglobose, ca. 1 mm. Styles not exceeding calyx lobes; stigmas 3-lobed. Fruit initially turning red, maturing black, oblong-globose, 10-13 × 6-8 mm, base rounded, apex rounded, glabrous; pyrenes compressed, ellipsoid, 5-7(-9) × (4-)5(-6) mm, with 2 shallow dorsal grooves and 3 shallow ventral grooves, apex rounded. Fl. Apr-Jun, fr. Jul-Sep.
Forests, thickets, shaded moist places on grassy slopes; 300-3200 m. W Anhui, S Gansu, W Henan, W Hubei, Jiangxi, S Ningxia, E Shaanxi, Sichuan, SE Xizang, NW Yunnan, NW Zhejiang [N Myanmar].