Spreading to erect, 3-4 m tall shrub with rough brown bark. Branches numerous, opposite, divaricate, puberulous to glabrescent. Leaves o posite, super-posed, almost sessile, blade ovate to broad ovate or elliptic, 12-40 mm long, 8-24 mm broad, apex obtuse, apiculate or mucronate, margin almost entire or minutely denticulate, glabrous, 3-5 costate, with convergent reticulate venation, costae pubescent below. Inflorescence many-flowered, axillary or terminal, 2-5 cm long, raceme surrounded at the base with bud scales. Flowers bisexual, greenish-yellow, 5-merous, 3-4 mm across; pedicel filiform, 5-8 mm long, up to 12 mm in fruit, hirsute; bracts sessile, oblong or oblong-pandurate, 3.5-4.5 mm long, 1.5-2 mm broad, concave, embracing the pedicel, obtuse, glabrous, margin fimbriate-ciliate. Sepals ovate to broad ovate or somewhat orbicular in fruit, 2.5-3 mm long, 1.5-2(-3) mm broad, yellowish-green, obtuse, apiculate, glabrous, margin membranous crenate. Petals oblong, 1.5-2 mm long, up to 5-7 mm long in fruit, with the keel inserted in the interestices between achenes, apex mucronate, margin undulate. Stamens 10, outer 5 antisepalous free, inner 5 adnate to petals, exesrted, filaments purplish, 3-4 mm long, anthers basifixed, ovate-oblong, 1.5-2 mm long. Carpels 5, inserted on fleshy conical thalamus; each ovary falcate, compressed, c. 1.5 mm long, glabrous; styles 5, 4-5 mm long, exserted, puberulous throughout, purple, stigma linear, acute, somewhat uncinate. Achenes 5, each somewhat ovate, ridged c. 3.5 mm long; separated by inwardly projecting keel of petals, blue, or deep purple. Seed ovate, testa membranous, cotyledons ovate.
Fl. Per. March-April.
Type: (Nepal) “in montibus vallis Napaliae et Deyrae”. (India) In Kamaon, Blinkworth.
Distribution: Endemic to the Indo-Pakistan subcontinent; in the Himalayas from Indus eastward to Bhutan, usually between 800-2500 m.
The fruit is said to be eaten but is known to cause serious digestive upsets, thirst and death in some cases. The branches are browsed by sheep.