Much branched, the branches spreading, densely leafy. Leaves: linear-oblong, crowded, thick, obtuse, the strongly revolute margins roughish. Flowers: very small, purplish, solitary in the upper axils; sepals and petals mostly three. Fruit: a black drupe, containing six to nine nutlets.

This black-berried herbaceous shrub resembles a Heath, and grows in large dense mats on the mountain sides at high altitudes. The numerous short branches are thickly covered with tiny narrow leaves; the purplish flowers are inconspicuous, and the berries, which are large, round, and of a dull black colour, are a favourite fruit with the alpine birds.