A small tree often with leafless stems or few leaves appearing on young twigs, linear-oblong to linear, spiny-tipped and soon deciduous. Stipular spines are shortly recurved. Flowers are arranged in axillary clusters, borne on short branches. Sepals are unequal; the posterior ones are large and deeply concave.
Petals are red and unequal, the posterior two are partly enclosed within the posterior sepal. Fruit is a subglobular apiculate, yellow or red berry with few to many seeds. Both the ripe and unripe fruits are eaten. They can be made into a bitter-tasting pickle. The unripe fruit is cooked and eaten. Flower buds cooked and eaten as a potherb, or pickled.Children enjoy sucking the nectar out of the flowers. The ash of the burnt roots is used as a salt. The very bitter roots are used in the Indian and Farsi pharmacopeia. The root bark is used to cure swollen joints.
*above specification are indicative only. actual dimensions may vary by +-10%