A deciduous shrub 6 to 10 ft high with very downy young shoots. Leaves ovate to roundish oval, rounded or broadly tapered at the base, the apex slender or even tail-like, toothed, 11⁄2 to 31⁄2 in. long, half as much wide, dark green and with usually some hairs above, at least on the veins; clothed beneath either on the veins and midrib with mostly simple hairs, or all over the lower surface with star-shaped hairs and some long simple ones; veins in six to nine pairs; stalk 1⁄4 to 3⁄8 in. long, hairy and starry-downy. Flowers white, all fertile, 1⁄4 in. wide, opening in June in a terminal five- or six-branched corymb 2 to 3 in. wide; main and secondary flower-stalks velvety with down. Corolla 1⁄5 in. wide, the lobes roundish ovate; calyx downy. Fruits bright red, egg-shaped, 1⁄3 in. long, slightly hairy.
Native of Szechwan, China; discovered by Wilson in 1904 and introduced by him in 1908 to the Arnold Arboretum, Mass., whence it was obtained for Kew the following year. The plants which were raised from Wilson’s No. 1120 flower and bear fruit regularly at Kew. Rehder compared it with V. hupehense, but that species has stipules attached towards the base of the leaf-stalks which are absent in V. wilsonii. In the downiness of leaf and inflorescence they are very similar.
V. mullaha Buch.-Ham. ex D. Don V. stellulatum Wall. ex DC. – V. wilsonii is closely related to this species, described in 1825. Rehder acknowledged the resemblance, giving as the differential character that in V. wilsonii the inflorescence-axes and the outside of the corolla are velvety; in V. mullaha the inflorescence is merely downy and the corollas glabrous. This species is a native of the Himalaya from Kashmir eastwards, and of parts of S.E. Asia. It is in cultivation from Ludlow, Sherriff and Hicks 19820, collected in Bhutan.