A deciduous shrub, 6 to 10 ft high, with erect stems; young branches glabrous. Leaves 2 to 5 in. long, 1 to 21⁄2 in. wide, mostly ovate and rounded at the base, but sometimes obovate and tapered at the base, slenderly and often abruptly pointed, somewhat distantly toothed; bright green and almost glabrous above, paler beneath with tufts of hairs in the vein-axils; veins in six to ten pairs; stalk 1⁄4 to 3⁄4 in. long. Flowers all perfect, produced in May on glabrous or downy-stalked, five-rayed cymes, 2 to 4 in. across, the flowers themselves scarcely stalked, white. Fruits round-ovoid, red, 1⁄3 in. long.
Native of Japan. This handsome-fruited species is closely related to V. dilatatum, but that species is at once distinguished by the extremely downy character of its leaves, young branches and inflorescence. Another ally is V. phlebotrichum, but that is very distinct in its smaller shorter-stalked leaves, the more numerous silky, whitish hairs on the veins beneath, the quite glabrous and slender-stalked, pendulous cymes, and the very short stamens.
The fruits of V. wrightii, if formed, ripen in August and the leaves colour red in the autumn.
cv. ‘Hessei’. – Dwarfer, with smaller inflorescences. This and similar plants were raised in Germany from seeds collected by Prof. Sargent in Japan in the 1890s (V. hessei Koehne; V. wrightii var. hessei (Koehne) Rehd.).