Evergreen shrub or small tree. Escaping from cultivation and established in fencerows, abandoned pastures, and low woodlands. Twigs greenish brown to gray, without hairs but with raised, corky dots (lenticels). Leaves opposite, petioled; blade firm textured, ovate to elliptic, up to 4 1/2 inches long and 2 inches wide pointed at the tip, and with smooth margins, upper surface dark green, smooth, glossy; lower surface lighter with a prominent, yellow, main vein. Flowers white, about 1/4 inch wide, petals bent back, in broad, dense clusters up to 8 inches long. Fruit berrylike, dark blue, 5/16 inch long and 1/4 inch wide, hanging on into winter.
The developing fruit will become dark purple.