Description from Flora of China
Shrubs or trees, dioecious, to 6 m tall, spinose. Branchlets opposite or subopposite; young branches densely hirsute; older branches virgate, shiny, red-brown or purple-red, smooth, glabrous, terminating in a spine. Leaves opposite or subopposite, or fascicled on short shoots; stipules lanceolate, often persistent; petiole 4-10(-15) mm, adaxially canaliculate and puberulent or densely hirsute; leaf blade vivid greenish, turning red when dry, obovate-lanceolate, obovate-elliptic, or elliptic, 2.5-8 × 1.5-3 cm, papery or thinly papery, abaxially pilose on veins or only in vein axils, or subglabrous or densely hirsute, adaxially pilose or subglabrous or pilose only on veins, lateral veins 4 or 5 pairs, reticulate veins conspicuous, base cuneate, margin crenate-serrulate, apex acuminate or shortly acuminate, rarely acute. Flowers unisexual, 4-merous. Petals present, 3-4 mm, sparsely puberulent or glabrous. Female flowers few, fascicled on short shoots, with rudimentary stamens; style 2-cleft. Drupe bluish black, subglobose, with persistent calyx tube at base, 4-5 mm in diam., with 2 stones; fruiting pedicel 2-5 mm. Seeds red-brown, abaxially with margined furrow extending over 2/3-3/4 of length. Fl. Apr-May, fr. Jun-Oct.
Forests, thickets on mountains and slopes; 1200-3800 m. Guizhou, SW Sichuan, E and SE Xizang, Yunnan [Bhutan, India, Nepal, Thailand].