Image Credit: James H. Miller & Ted Bodner, Southern Weed Science Society, Bugwood.org
Description: Evergreen shrub with spreading branches. An escape from cultivation. Young twigs covered with fine hairs visible under a l0x hand lens. Leaves opposite; blades up to 2 inches long, ovate to elliptic, usually rounded at the tip, sometimes with a small notch, and with smooth margins. Small white flowers are fragrant, arranged in narrow clusters, blooming March to May. Small berry-like fruit berrylike, bluish black, arranged in clusters that bend down the branchlets which persist into winter. Plant is similar to native buckbrush (coralberry).
Ecological Threat: Aggressive and troublesome invasives, often forming dense thickets, particularly in bottom-land forests and along fencerows, and eventually infiltrating forests, fields, and right-of-ways.
Biology & Spread: Colonize by root sprouts and spread widely by abundant bird- and other animal-dispersed seeds.
Threat in Oklahoma: Escaped cultivation and has colonized urban forests, fencerows, and bottomland forests. Concern in eastern and central Oklahoma, less of a concern in western Oklahoma.
Management: Problem Horticultural Plants