A deciduous shrub up to 10 ft in height, forming a wide bush with slender branches, downy when young, often becoming spine-tipped. Leaves oval or slightly obovate, 3⁄4 to 13⁄4 in. long, 1⁄4 to 3⁄4 in. wide, tapered at both ends, shallowly toothed all round except near the base, dull green and glabrous above, paler and downy beneath; stalks 1⁄4 in. or less long. Flowers green, inconspicuous, produced from the twigs of the preceding year; the males in dense stalkless clusters; females fewer, on short spurs. Fruits 1⁄4 in. long, egg-shaped, blue-black.
Native of the S.E. United States; introduced in 1812. Of no garden value.