A deciduous mostly unarmed shrub of straggling habit 1 to 21⁄2 ft high; young wood glabrous, whitish. Leaves variable, linear-oblong or oblanceolate to lanceolate or oval; 1⁄3 to 11⁄4 in. long, 1⁄8 to 1⁄3 in. wide; grey-green, wavy at the margin; stipules ending in long points. Flowers whitish, produced in slender, leafy racemes, from 1 to 3 in. long, at the end of short lateral twigs; flower-stalk jointed about midway; inner sepals becoming at the fruiting stage rounded, 1⁄4 in. across, and ultimately rose-coloured.
Native of S.E. Europe and the Caucasus, to Siberia and Turkestan; introduced in 1770. It flowers in August, and long remains pretty, but, like the rest of the genus, has never attracted much notice in gardens.
var. virgata Reg., found in Turkestan, has whiter and more slender twigs than the type.