Description from Flora of China
Shrubs scandent, rarely small trees, dioecious, 3-9 m tall, unarmed. Branchlets brown, with numerous tuberculate lenticels. Leaves alternate; stipules lanceolate, 1-1.5 mm, caducous; petiole 5-18(-25) mm, glabrous; leaf blade adaxially yellow-purple or pale purple when dry, stiffly papery or subleathery; small leaf blades 2-6 cm; large leaf blades oblong-elliptic or oblong, 7.5-15 × 2-6.5 cm, abaxially glabrous or clustered hairy in vein axils, adaxially glabrous, lateral veins 5-8 pairs, midvein prominent abaxially, impressed adaxially, with ± conspicuous reticulate veins, base cuneate or rounded, margin slightly revolute when dry, shallowly or inconspicuously serrate, apex caudate-acuminate or acuminate, rarely rounded, erect or curved mucronate, mucro 1-2 mm. Flowers green, unisexual, 5-merous, solitary or 2- or 3-fascicled in axillary, lax cymose racemes or cymose panicles; bracts leaflike, to 6 cm. Pedicels ca. 1 mm, puberulent. Sepals triangular, ca. 1.5 mm, apex acute or slightly acuminate. Petals absent. Female flowers with minute, rudimentary stamens; ovary 3-loculed; style short, deeply 3-cleft, caducous. Drupe (immature) globose-obovoid, ca. 5 mm, with 2 or 3 stones. Seeds abaxially with a margined furrow extending over ca. 2/3 of length. Fl. Jun-Jul, fr. Aug-Nov.
This species is similar to Rhamnus coriophylla, but the latter differs in having leathery leaves that do not turn purple when dry, apex acuminate, and short petioles.
Sparse or dense forests in valleys; 700-2000 m. W Guangxi, S Yunnan [Vietnam].