A vigorous, deciduous climber; young shoots downy, and mixed with the down are numerous gland-tipped, stiff, erect bristles. Leaves of firm texture, three-lobed with a deep, narrow opening where the stalk is attached, shallowly toothed, each tooth ending in a bristle-like tip, 6 to 10 in. long, 4 to 7 in. wide, upper surface slightly downy on the nerves, or almost smooth and dark green, lower surface covered with a dense grey felt, with the midrib and veins hairy, a few large gland-tipped bristles mixed with the hairs. Stalk one-third to one-half as long as the blade, with a mixture of down and glandular bristles as on the shoot, but with the bristles more numerous. Fruits black, 1⁄3 to 1⁄2 in. in diameter.
Native of China; discovered and introduced by Père David in 1872-3; it was reintroduced in 1880, on both occasions from Shensi. It is one of the finest of the true vines, though rather tender in the young state, and until the main stem becomes quite woody. From V. davidii it is very distinct in the felted undersurface of the leaves, and it is not possible to confuse it with any other species.