Description from Flora of China
Shrubs spreading, dioecious, 2-3 m tall, spinescent. Branches alternate; young branches green, glabrous or pilose at base; older branches yellow-brown or dark purple, smooth, glabrous, terminating in a spine; buds ovoid-orbicular, with few scales, margin ciliate. Leaves alternate or fascicled on short shoots; stipules linear, caducous; petiole 6-15(-25) mm, adaxially canaliculate, pilose; leaf blade abaxially pale green, adaxially green, elliptic, obovate, or ovate-elliptic, 2.5-8 × 2-4 cm, papery or submembranous, abaxially veins or vein axils pilose or glabrous, adaxially white adpressed hairy or pilose, lateral
veins (3-)5 or 6 pairs, prominent on both surfaces, base cuneate or subrounded, margin crenate-serrate, apex acute or acuminate. Flowers yellow-green, unisexual, 4-merous, usually few- to 11-fascicled on short shoots. Petals present. Female flowers: pedicels 9-13 mm, glabrous; sepals reflexed, lanceolate, ca. 3 mm; ovary obovoid; styles 2-fid or cleft to half. Drupe black, obovoid-globose or globose, 4-5 mm in diam., with 2 stones, with persistent calyx tube at base; fruiting pedicel (6-)10-18 mm, glabrous. Seeds dark brown, abaxially from base with margined furrow for 1/5 of length. Fl. May-Jun, fr. Jul-Oct.
Thickets, mountain forest and thicket margins, open sunny slopes; 400-2200 m. Hebei, Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning, Shandong, Shanxi [N Korea].