Description from Flora of China
Ceanothus napalensis Wallich in Roxburgh, Fl. Ind. 2: 375. 1824 ["napalansis"]; Celastrus tristis H. Léveillé; Rhamnus paniculiflora C. K. Schneider.
Shrubs erect or scandent, rarely trees, deciduous, dioecious, unarmed. Young branches puberulent, glabrescent; older branches with numerous conspicuous lenticels. Leaves alternate; petiole 1.3-2 cm, glabrous; leaf blade adaxially deep green, broadly elliptic or elliptic-oblong, 6-17(-20) × 3-8.5 cm, papery or subleathery, abaxially with clustered hairy vein axils, adaxially glabrous, lateral veins 5-9 pairs, major veins ± prominent abaxially, impressed adaxially, base rounded, margin crenate or obtusely serrate, slightly revolute, apex rounded, shortly acuminate, or acuminate. Flowers unisexual, 5-merous, in axillary cymose racemes or branched cymose panicles to 12 cm; rachis puberulent; bracts leaflike, to 5 cm. Sepals triangular, ca. 1.5 mm, puberulent, apex acute. Petals deeply cucullate, equaling stamens or slightly shorter, base clawed, apex obtuse or emarginate. Disk circular, thin, glabrous. Female flowers with caducous petals; stamens rudimentary; ovary globose, 3-loculed; style 3-fid or cleft to half. Drupe reddish purple when young, purplish black at maturity, obovoid-globose, 5-6 mm in diam., with persistent calyx tube at base, with 3 stones. Seeds abaxially with margined furrow extending over nearly whole length. Fl. May-Sep, fr. Aug-Nov.
The leaves of this species often turn gray-black when dry. In Zhejiang and Fujian, the leaves are often used for dyeing tissues; in Jiangxi, the plant is used for making paper. The fruit and leaves are used medicinally.
Sparse or dense forests, thickets; below 1800 m. Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi, Xizang, Yunnan, Zhejiang [Bhutan, India, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand].