Description from Flora of China
Frangula alnus Miller.
Shrubs or small trees, rarely to 7 m tall. Young branches greenish, sparsely puberulent; older branches brownish, with distinct transversely oriented lenticels. Petiole 1-1.9 cm, puberulent, ± glabrescent; leaf blade abaxially pale green, adaxially green, broadly elliptic or oblong, rarely obovate, 4-11 × 2.5-6 cm, papery, abaxially sparsely puberulent on midvein, adaxially glabrous, lateral veins 6-10 pairs, prominent on both surfaces, base broadly cuneate or subrounded, margin entire, apex shortly acuminate or rounded, rarely acute. Flowers solitary or 2-4-fascicled at leaf axils, glabrous. Pedicels 5-10 mm. Sepals keeled and slightly rostrate adaxially. Petals orbicular, apex slightly emarginate. Disk thin, lining calyx tube. Ovary globose, 2- or 3-loculed; style undivided; stigma slightly 2- or 3-lobed. Drupe red, turning purple-black at maturity, 6-8 mm in diam., with 2 or 3 lenticular stones; fruiting pedicel 7-10 mm. Fl. Apr-Jul, fr. Jun-Sep. 2n = 20.
The bark is used medicinally for stomach pain. The bark and young fruit contain dye. The timber is used for making charcoal and gunpowder.
Forest margins, riverbanks, lakesides. N Xinjiang (Manas) [Russia; N Africa, SW Asia, Europe].