Description from Flora of China
Shrubs low, prostrate, deciduous, dioecious, 1-2 m tall, spinescent. Branches alternate, short; young branches spreading, red-brown, puberulent or glabrous; flowering branches often crooked, gray-brown or red-brown, slightly scaly, terminating in a spine. Leaves alternate or fascicled on short shoots; stipules red-brown, subulate-lanceolate, shorter than petiole or slightly longer, puberulent, persistent; petiole 1-3 mm, puberulent; leaf blade abaxially yellow-green, turning yellow when dry, adaxially green, elliptic or ovate-elliptic, rarely oblong, small, 0.2-2.2 cm × 4-10 mm, papery, both surfaces puberulent or subglabrous, lateral veins 2-4 pairs, abaxially slightly conspicuous, often connected near margin, base broadly cuneate, margin inconspicuously denticulate or subentire, apex obtuse or rounded, sometimes emarginate. Flowers yellow-green, unisexual, usually 3- or 4-fascicled on short shoots. Pedicels short, puberulent. Calyx cup-shaped; sepals ovate-triangular. Petals narrowly obovate, cucullate, very small. Disk glabrous. Style 3- or 4-fid. Drupe purple-red, turning black at maturity, obovoid-globose, ca. 5 mm in diam., with 3 or 4 stones, with cup-shaped persistent calyx tube at base; fruiting pedicel 3-4 mm, subglabrous. Seeds yellow-brown, with brownish dots, ovoid-oblong, ca. 3 mm, abaxially with shallow margined furrow extending over 4/5 of length. Fl. May-Jun, fr. Jun-Aug.
This species is quite similar to Rhamnus minuta, but the latter is shorter (not more than 25 cm tall), with obovate or obovate-elliptic leaves not more than 1 cm.
Rock crevices in subalpine and alpine zones, stony slopes; 2800-3900 m. W Xizang [Afghanistan, E and W India, Kashmir, Pakistan].