Shrubs, to 4 m tall, andromonoecious. Branches with conic, often recurved prickles shorter than 4 mm. Leaves 2- or 3-pinnately compound, with a pair of accessory leaflets at each division of rachis; petiole to 100 cm, armed; leaflets 5-9 per pinna, ovate-oblong, 4-11 × 2-5 cm, papery, both surfaces pilose, especially on veins, secondary veins 6 pairs, conspicuous on both surfaces, reticulate veins inconspicuous, cuticle striate or not, base rounded to cordate, margin serrate, apex acuminate. Inflorescence a terminal panicle of umbels, glabrous or pubescent, with recurved prickles; primary axis to ca. 40 cm; ultimate axes with a terminal umbel of bisexual flowers and several lateral umbels of male flowers; bracts caducous, linear, 1.2-2.5 mm; umbels 20-50-flowered; pedicels 1-1.5 cm, with thin prickles and stout trichomes. Ovary 5-carpellate; styles 5, free. Fruit globose, ca. 4 mm in diam., styles persistent, radiating to recurved. Fl. Aug-Oct, fr. Sep-Dec.
Panax armatus Wallich ex G. Don, Gen. Hist. 3: 386. 1834; Aralia tengyuehensis C. Y. Wu; A. thomsonii Seemann ex C. B. Clarke var. glabrescens C. Y. Wu.