Description from Flora of China
Shrubs dioecious, 1.5-3 m tall, spinescent. Young branches alternate, red-brown or gray-brown, slightly smooth, black-brown or brown pilose, hairs ± deciduous, terminating in a spine; old branches red-brown, glabrous, often with irregular slits. Leaves alternate or fascicled on short shoots; stipules linear-lanceolate, ca. 1/2 as long as petiole, caducous; petiole 4-9 mm, adaxially canaliculate, pilose; leaf blade abaxially often turning reddish or yellow-green when dry, adaxially green or yellow-green, oblong, ovate-oblong, or obovate, rarely elliptic or suborbicular, 3-10 × 1.5-4.5 cm, papery or thickly papery, abaxially glabrous, often with verrucose process, adaxially sparsely puberulent at least on major veins, rarely subglabrous, lateral veins 3-5 pairs, prominent abaxially, base broadly cuneate or subrounded, margin hooked incurved-serrate, apex acuminate or acute, rarely obtuse or subrounded. Flowers yellow-green, unisexual, 4-merous, 1-3 in leaf axils of lower part of branchlets or on short shoots. Female flowers: calyx tube campanulate; sepals lanceolate, 2-2.5 mm, inconspicuously 3-veined, puberulent; ovary subglobose; styles 3-cleft to half; stigma recurved. Pedicels 2-3 mm, sparsely puberulent. Drupe black at maturity, obovoid-globose, 6-7 mm in diam., with (2 or)3 stones, with shallow, cup-shaped calyx tube at base; fruiting pedicel 2-4 mm, puberulent. Seeds brown, oblong-obovoid, ca. 6 mm, abaxially with margined furrow for 1/2 of length. Fl. May-Jun, fr. Jul-Nov.
This species is similar to Rhamnus fulvotincta but differs in having branchlets, leaves, and petioles brown or black-brown pilose, flowers and pedicels puberulent, and seeds abaxially with margined furrow to 1/2 as long as whole length.
● Sparse forests in valleys, thickets on slopes, roadsides; 500-1700 m. Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hunan, Jiangxi, Zhejiang.