A deciduous shrub or small tree growing up to 20 feet. The stems have a whitish waxy coating with dark green and lustrous leaves that are sharply serrated at the margins. Flowers are green, maturing from the bottom up with drupes that have a flattened- globe shape and are covered with red, sticky hairs; the seeds are yellow and smooth. Prefers moist, fertile, well drained soils, reestablishing by strong rhizomes growing 4 to 7 feet. Found in open woodlands, prairies, on dry rocky hillsides, and in canyons across most of the United States.