A shrub from one to three feet high. Leaves. - Oblong or somewhat lance-shaped, finely toothed, downy beneath. Flowers. - White or reddish, small, clustered. Calyx. - Five-cleft. Corolla. - Of five petals. Stamens. - Numerous. Pistil. - One, with two to five styles. Fruit. - Small, pear-shaped or globular, berry-like, dark red or blackish.

This low shrub is common in swamps and moist thickets all along the Atlantic coast, as well as farther inland. Its flowers appear in May or June; its fruit in late summer or autumn.