Leaves: ovate or oval, obtuse at the apex, rounded or narrowed at the base, green and sparingly stellate-scurfy above, densely silvery stellate-scurfy beneath, some of the scurf brown. Flowers: in short spikes at the nodes of the twigs, yellowish, buds globose; perianth four-lobed. Fruit: oval, drupe-like, red or yellow.

This shrub somewhat resembles Elaeagnus argentea, but is not nearly so silvery in appearance, the stems being covered with a brown scurf and the leaves being green and slightly brown-scurfy on the top and silver-coated only underneath. The yellow flowers are small and grow in short spikes at the joints of the twigs; the fruit consists of a bright scarlet or yellow berry, the flesh of which is edible, though very insipid, and contains a tiny smooth nut.

The Canada Buffaloberry grows from four to eight feet high, usually near water, and when in fruit is extremely ornamental.