Shrubs or small trees, with small axillary polygamous or dioecious flowers, the parts mostly in fours or sixes. Calyx very minute, free from the ovary. Stamens alternate with the petals, attached to their base, the corolla being almost polypetalous. Anthers opening lengthwise. Stigma nearly sessile. Fruit a berry-like 4-8-seeded drupe.
I. verticillata, Gr. (Black Alder. Winterberry.) A shrub with the greenish flowers in sessile clusters, or the fertile ones solitary. Parts of the flowers mostly in sixes. Fruit bright red. Leaves alternate, obovate, oval, or wedge-lanceolate, pointed, veiny, serrate. - Swamps and low grounds.
N. Canadensis, DC. A branching shrub, with grey bark, and alternate oblong nearly entire smooth leaves on slender petioles. Flowers on long slender axillary peduncles, mostly solitary. Petals 4-5, oblong-linear, distinct. Fruit light red. - Moist woods.