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A deciduous shrub, 1 to 4 ft high, with mostly glabrous, yellowish green, warted branchlets. Leaves mostly oval to obovate, 1 to 2 in. long, about half as wide, nearly entire, or minutely toothed except towards the base, very shortly stalked, minutely pointed, glabrous, firm, pale or glaucous beneath. Flowers produced during May in short clusters on the leafless tips of the previous year’s shoots. Corolla greenish, pink or purplish, about 1⁄4 in. long; calyx often reddish. Berries roundish, 1⁄4 to 1⁄3 in. wide, black, usually covered with a blue bloom, very sweet.
Native of the eastern United States from Maine southwards to Georgia. This is a stiffly branched species with firm textured leaves, and is one of the most ornamental in its flowers, which, like the fruits, cover the terminal (and naked) 2 or 3 in. of the twigs. Said to favour dryish situations in the wild.