Description from Flora of China
Phoberos saevus Hance, Ann. Sci. Nat., Bot., sér. 4, 3: 825. 1852; Scolopia cinnamomifolia Gagnepain; S. henryi Sleumer.
Shrubs or small trees, evergreen, 4-8(-10) m tall; bark grayish, not flaking; trunk spiny; spines simple or compound, to 11 cm; twig tips puberulous (view at × 20 mag.), early glabrescent, branchlets glabrous. Petiole 5-10 mm, glabrous; leaf blade ovate, elliptic, or elliptic-lanceolate, 5-8 × 2-5 cm, leathery, adaxially shiny, both surfaces glabrous, lateral veins 3-5 pairs, slender, basal 2 pairs high ascending, reticulate veins clear on both surfaces (at × 10 mag.), not sparse, base mostly acute, cuneate or sides concave, sometimes attenuate, margin subentire to remotely and shallowly repand-serrate, glands at junction of blade and petiole absent, apex acuminate, acumen 0.5-2 cm. Racemes axillary or terminal, 2-5 cm, usually ca. 1/2 × to as long as leaves, puberulous. Pedicels 5-10 mm, puberulous though appearing glabrous (view at × 20 mag., even then hairs sometimes scarcely visible). Flowers whitish green. Sepals 4 or 5, ovate, 1.2-1.5 mm, outside glabrous or sparsely hairy toward base, margin ciliate. Petals obovate-oblong, 1.5-2 mm, outside glabrous, margin ciliate. Disk glands 4 or 5(-?10). Stamens ca. 6 mm; anthers ovoid, connective with appendage at apex, glabrous or glabrescent. Ovary ovoid; placentas 2 or 3, each with 1 or 2 ovules; style 3-5 mm, stigma minutely lobed. Berry reddish, obovoid-orbicular, 6-8 mm. Seeds 1 or 2, ovoid-oblong, angled. Fl. May-Oct, fr. Aug-Apr of following year.
Dry plains, mixed forests in mountains; 400-1500 m. Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan, Yunnan [Vietnam].