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An evergreen shrub or small tree up to 15 or even 30 ft high; young branchlets and flower-stalks minutely downy. Leaves variable in size and shape, ovate or elliptic-ovate to lanceolate or elliptic-lanceolate, 1⁄2 to 21⁄2 in. long, 3⁄8 to 11⁄2 in. wide, more or less dentate to serrate, serrulate, or entire, pointed at the apex, broadly tapered, rounded, or slightly heart-shaped at the base. Flowers dull greenish white, in short axillary clusters. Fruits blue-black, roundish or orange-shaped, 1⁄4 to 3⁄8 in. long.
Native of the Mediterranean regions of S. Europe, N. Africa, and Asia Minor; cultivated in Britain since the 16th century.
P. spinosa Mill.
P. latifolia var. ilicifolia DC