A deciduous shrub of erect habit, up to 12 ft high, with glabrous grey stems. Leaves ovate-lanceolate, rounded at the base, long, and taper-pointed, widely and sharply toothed, 3 to 6 in. long, 11⁄4 to 21⁄2 in. wide, dark green above, and glabrous on both surfaces, with the exception of long hairs on the midrib and on the parallel veins beneath, which mostly fall away by autumn; veins in six to nine pairs, running out to the teeth; stalk 1⁄2 to 1 in. long, hairy like the midrib. Cymes 11⁄2 to 2 in. across, five-branched, terminal on short, lateral, two-leaved twigs. Flowers white, 1⁄4 in. wide, all perfect. Stamens included. Fruits red, egg-shaped, nearly 1⁄2 in. long.
Native of Central and W. China; introduced in 1901 by Wilson. It is allied to V. phlebotrichum, but has larger, longer stalked leaves. Rehder’s specific name refers to the use of the leaves by the monks of Mount Omei as a kind of tea.
cv. ‘Aurantiacum’. – Fruits bright orange. Raised at the Arnold Arboretum from seeds collected by Wilson in China in 1907.