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A deciduous climber, with glabrous, twining branches, growing 10 to 15 ft high (much higher in milder climates). Leaves glabrous, oval, 11⁄2 to 3 in. long, not heart-shaped but usually rounded, or broadly wedge-shaped at the base, the apex ending in a bristle-like point, the margins wavy; veins nine to twelve pairs. Flowers small, greenish white, arranged in racemes 1 to 2 in. long, terminating short, side twigs, and in a terminal panicle. Fruits oblong, 1⁄3 in. long, dark blue, or almost black.
Native of the southern United States; introduced in 1714. It does not fill an important place in English gardens, owing to its flowers having little beauty, and its fruits being rarely seen. From the commoner Japanese species it differs in the shape of the leaves, the more numerous veins, and in the smaller inflorescence. It is also a genuine climber, its stems twisting round each other, or anything of convenient size within reach. Not so hardy as B. racemosa.