A shrub to about 8 ft high, slenderly branched, the branchlets glabrous or slightly downy. Leaves thin, ovate or elliptic, up to 31⁄2 in. long (longer on extension growths), glabrous or slightly downy above, appressed-hairy on the veins beneath, coarsely and sharply serrate, the teeth tipped with horny mucros; petioles to about 5⁄8 in. long. Inflorescences terminating short two-leaved laterals, rather few-flowered, about 2 in. wide, more or less pendulous. Flowers white, small. Stamens shorter than the corolla-lobes. Fruits red, ovoid, about 3⁄8 in. long.
Native of Japan; plants originally grown under this name were V. setigerum, and the true species was little known until the 1930s. From that species it differs in the smaller and more shortly stalked leaves, shorter stamens and drooping inflorescences. The leaves colour crimson in the autumn.