An arching, woody shrub originally from south eastern Europe and Asia. The berries are an important crop in northern China.
It prefers moist but well drained soil in sun or semi-shade.
The long stalked flowers are borne in the leaf axil in groups of 1-3. The calyx is a white tube crowned by 5-6 radial, triangular sepals. The sepals are purple above, whitish below with long protruding stamens.
Elliptic oval leaf. Narrowly oval, sometimes with a rounded tip, in a cluster, each leaf 25 mm long; single leaves 55 mm long, alternate.
Berry: the calyx splits open to form the oval berry, orange-red in colour.
Berry, root and leaves: used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat a multitude of health problems.