A small tree in the wild, with slender, drooping branches; branchlets glabrous, white-lenticellate when mature. Leaves up to 5 in. long and 2 in. wide, ovatelanceolate, tapered at the apex to a slender point, glabrous when mature, finely and doubly serrate (simply so on the ‘tail’); veins in ten to twelve pairs; petiole slender, about [1/2] in. long, glabrous. Fruiting catkins 3 to 6 in. long; bracts oblique, about [3/4] in. long, the broader side deeply toothed, lobed at the base (though the lobe sometimes not much larger than the teeth above it), narrower side more or less entire, with a distinct lobe at the base. Nutlets glandular.
A native of the Himalaya from the Punjab eastward, mostly on the outer ranges, where it ascends to about 8,000 ft. Beyond the Himalaya it extends through upper Burma to Yunnan and perhaps into central China (see this supplement under C. laxiflora). So far as is known, C. viminea is not in cultivation and might prove to be tender.
C. viminea and C. laxiflora are allied, both having fruiting bracts which are less unequal-sided than in the east Asiatic species clustering around C. pubescens and C. tschonoskii, and with basal lobes on both sides. In this respect they resemble the American C. caroliniana, with which Berger groups them in his informal classification.