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An evergreen shrub 3 to 7 ft high, with erect branches, densely leafy; young shoots angular, minutely downy. Leaves narrowly obovate to oblanceolate, entire, or with a few obscure teeth near the apex, 3⁄4 to 13⁄4 in. long, 1⁄3 to 5⁄8 in, wide, dark green above, paler beneath, glossy and glabrous on both surfaces; stalk 1⁄8 to 1⁄4 in. long. Male flowers borne three or more together on a slender stalk; females solitary; both very small. Fruits round, black, 1⁄4 in. diameter; nutlets smooth.
Native of eastern N. America; introduced in 1759. Emerson says this shrub is occasionally found 8 or 9 ft high, but it is very slow-growing, and plants I know to be forty years old are only 3 or 4 ft high. It is a neat-habited evergreen, quite unarmed, but of no particular merit, and rather like a phillyrca.