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A deciduous shrub, usually 4 to 8 ft high, or a small tree, sometimes 20 to 30 ft high in the wild, of spreading habit; branches slender, the short ones occasionally spine-tipped. Leaves lanceolate or oval-lanceolate, 11⁄2 to 21⁄2 in. long, 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 in. wide at the middle, tapering gradually to both ends, shallowly toothed from the middle to the apex; stalk 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 in. long. Male flowers clustered in small stalkless tufts; female ones on branched stalks; both minute, greenish, and of no beauty. Fruits cylindrical, pointed, 1⁄2 in. long, purple.
Native of the S.E. United States; introduced in 1812. A shrub of botanical interest only, and privet-like appearance.