Description from Flora of China
Fagara chinensis Merrill; F. cuspidata (Champion ex Bentham) Engler; F. cyrtorhachia Hayata; F. laxifoliolata Hayata; F. leiorhachia Hayata; F. scandens (Blume) Engler; Zanthoxylum chinense (Merrill) Chung; Z. cuspidatum Champion ex Bentham; Z. cyrtorhachium (Hayata) C. C. Huang; Z. laxifoliolatum (Hayata) C. C. Huang; Z. leiorhachium (Hayata) C. C. Huang.
Shrubs or woody climbers. Trunks, branches, branchlets, and leaf rachises with prickles. Leaves 5-25-foliolate; leaflet blades alternate or opposite on distal part of leaf rachis, ovate, ovate-elliptic, or obliquely oblong, 4-10 × 1.5-4 cm, both surfaces black or blackish brown when dry, abaxially lustrous, oil glands inconspicuous, midvein impressed and glabrous or plane and puberulent, base oblique to subsymmetric and obtuse to broadly cuneate, margin entire or apically crenulate, apex mucronate, caudate, cuspidate, or long acuminate and with an obtuse to retuse tip. Inflorescences terminal or axillary. Flowers 4-merous. Perianth in 2 series. Sepals pale purplish green, broadly ovate, ca. 0.5 mm. Petals pale yellowish green, 2-3 mm. Male flowers: stamens 4, 3-4 mm; connective with an oil gland at apex; rudimentary gynoecium subtended by pulvinate disk, 2-4-lobed. Female flowers: carpels 3 or 4; staminodes ligulate. Fruit follicles purplish red, grayish brown to black when dry, 4.5-5.5 mm in diam., oil glands slightly protruding, plane, or impressed, apex beaked. Seeds subglobose, 4-5 mm in diam. Fl. Mar-May, fr. Jul-Aug. 2n = 68.
Lowland forests, open forests, thickets; near sea level to 1500 m. S Anhui, Chongqing, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi, Sichuan, Taiwan, Yunnan, Zhejiang [India, Indonesia, Japan (Ryukyu Islands), Malaysia, Myanmar].