This section is from the book "British Wild Flowers - In Their Natural Haunts Vol5-6", by A. R. Horwood. Also available from Amazon: A British Wild Flowers In Their Natural Haunts.
This plant grows on peaty heaths and in woods. It has the shrub habit. The branches are not spinose, slender, alternate. The leaves are alternate, inversely ovate, elliptic, entire, long-pointed, narrow below, the nerves parallel. The stipules are awl-like. The flowers are 5-fid, perfect, a few in the axils, clustered, greenish-white. The calyx is bell-shaped. The style is simple, entire. The fruit is a round drupe, black when ripe, 2-seeded. The stones and seeds are flattened, inversely ovoid. This plant is 5-10 ft. high, flowering in May and June, and is a deciduous shrub.