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An evergreen shrub 2 to 6 ft high, forming a dense thicket of stems, and spreading by means of underground stems; young branches reddish and bristly, becoming rough with age. Leaves leathery, broadly ovate, the base rounded or heart-shaped, the apex always sharply pointed, evenly and finely bristle-toothed, 11⁄2 to 4 in. long, 3⁄4 to 21⁄2 in. wide; stalk reddish, hairy, 1⁄2 to 1⁄4 in. long. Flowers produced during May and June in viscid, glandular racemes 11⁄2 to 5 in. long, at the end of the previous year’s shoots, and in the axils of several terminal leaves; each flower produced from the axil of a hooded, ovate bract, 1⁄4 in. long. Corolla pinkish white, egg-shaped, downy, 3⁄8 in. long, five-toothed at the mouth; calyx white, its lobes triangular, downy, pressed to the corolla. Fruit a juicy, top-shaped hairy berry, dark purple, 3⁄8 in. wide, carrying many tiny seeds, and pleasantly flavoured; the bracts adhere at the base. Bot. Mag., t. 2843.
Native of western N. America; introduced by Douglas in 1826. This useful and handsome shrub is one of the best we have for forming a dense evergreen thicket in moist, shady spots. It can be propagated by seeds, which it ripens in great numbers, also by division of the old plants, but to do the latter with success it is necessary to plant the pieces in a few inches of sandy soil on a hotbed. Broken up and planted in the open ground the pieces take long to recover. It may be recommended as cover for game.