Atraphaxis frutescens is a woody member of the Polygonaceae family. A family more readily recognised for giant herbaceous invaders. A native to Central Asia through into Eastern Europe where it can be found growing within stony, rocky river banks A. frutescens is a scandent sub shrub of deciduous habit. The flowers are composed of papery sepals of reddish colour, held in terminal racemes.
Plants were introduced into Britain in 1770 but despite this long association are not widely grown in cultivation.