Description from Flora of China
Shrubs evergreen, scandent, armed. Branchlets grayish brown or dark brown, with incurved, hooklike stout spines, glabrous or puberulent at base only, sometimes yellow-brown pubescent. Leaves alternate or subopposite; petiole 8-15(-17) mm, glabrous, sometimes yellow-brown pubescent; leaf blade adaxially shiny, oblong or narrowly elliptic, rarely ovate-elliptic, 9-15(-20) × 4-6(-7) cm, leathery, abaxially barbate at vein axils or sparsely pubescent, glabrescent, adaxially glabrous, lateral veins 7-10 pairs, prominent abaxially, impressed adaxially, base rounded or subrounded, margin serrulate, apex caudate-acuminate, acuminate, or shortly acuminate. Flowers sessile, glabrous, usually 2- or 3-fascicled in lax terminal or axillary spicate panicles; rachis ca. 15 cm, brown or canescent tomentose or densely puberulent; bracts ovate, small, sparsely puberulent. Ovary 2-loculed, with 1 ovule per locule; style short; stigma capitate. Drupe subsessile, deep red or purple-black at maturity, subglobose, 7-10 × 5-7 mm, with 2 pyrenes, often white powdery. Seeds brown, flat, ca. 6 mm, emarginate at both ends, asymmetrical. Fl. Jul-Aug, fr. Aug-Oct.
Because this species is quite similar to Sageretia lucida, previous authors have misidentified it as the latter; however, the latter differs in having smaller leaves, with lateral veins 5 or 6 pairs, adaxially not impressed, and rachis glabrous.
Forests or thickets on slopes, dense forests along canals; below 1600 m. Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi, Sichuan, SE Xizang, S Yunnan, Zhejiang [India, Nepal, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Vietnam].