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A semi-evergreen shrub producing a dense mass of slender, erect stems from 3 to 5 ft high, but thrice as much against a wall; young shoots angular, glabrous. Leaves alternate, composed of three leaflets on a common stalk about 1⁄6 in. long, or of one leaflet only. Leaflets narrow-oblong or linear obovate, 1⁄4 to 3⁄4 in. long, one-third as much wide, tapering at the base, more rounded at the apex, deep green, glabrous on both surfaces, but edged with minute hairs. On strong sucker shoots, the leaflets are occasionally twice as large. Flowers yellow, produced from June onwards, usually in three or fives at the end of short twigs. Corolla 5⁄8 in. long and wide; calyx bell-shaped, with five slender lobes. Fruits globose, shining black, the size of a pea. Bot. Mag., t. 461.
Native of S. Europe, N. Africa, and Asia Minor; cultivated since the middle of the 16th century, perhaps before. On the hills above Hyères, it grows abundantly and is quite handsome in the fall of the year by reason of the crop of shining black berries. There the shrubs are mostly 11⁄2 to 3 ft high. In hot seasons it fruits freely in England.