Plants 3-10(-15) dm, form-ing small to extensive colonies; branches spreading; twigs of current season pale green, glabrous. Leaves: petiole 1-2(-4) mm; blade pale green abaxially, green to yellowish green adaxially, ovate to oblong, (2-)2.5-5 × 1-2.5 cm, membranous to subcoriaceous, base cuneate, margins entire, apex rounded to obtuse, surfaces glabrous, sometimes puberulent on major veins, sessile-glandular. Inflorescences drooping, 3-7-flowered, bracteate, 0.5-1.5 cm, glabrous; bracts early-deciduous, not leaflike (linear-lanceolate), 2-4 mm, shorter than pedicels, glabrous, sessile-glandular. Pedicels 3-6 mm, glabrous, sessile-glandular; bracteoles 1(-2), 1-2 mm. Flowers: sepals 5, 0.7-1 mm, glabrous, sessile-glandular; petals 4-5, corolla orange to red, campanulate-conic, 4-5 mm, lobes 0.5-0.7 mm; filaments 2 mm, glabrous; anthers included, 2.2-2.5 mm, thecae divergent distally; ovary glabrous. Drupes juicy, sweet, glossy black (sometimes blue, rarely white), 6-7 mm diam., glabrous. Seeds ca. 2 mm. 2n = 24. Flowering late spring. Sandy or rocky soil in deciduous, pine, or mixed woods, roadsides, pastures, and utility rights-of-way, wet, acidic bogs, fens; 0-800 m; Man., N.B., Nfld. and Labr. (Nfld.), N.S., Ont., P.E.I., Que.; Ala., Ark., Conn., Del., D.C., Ga., Ill., Ind., Iowa, Ky., Maine, Md., Mass., Mich., Minn., Mo., N.H., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Ohio, Pa., R.I., S.C., Tenn., Vt., Va., W.Va., Wis.
Much-branched shrub to 1 m; lvs deciduous, elliptic to oblong or oblanceolate, 2-5 cm, entire, resinous-glandular on both sides; racemes short, rarely surpassing the lvs; pedicels commonly shorter than the fls; bracts oblong to linear, deciduous; pubescence of the infl and cal usually copious, the glands sessile and commonly numerous, the sep not ciliate; cor 4-6 mm, its tube half as thick; fr black, 6-8 mm; 2n=24. Dry, sandy or rocky soil, woods, and thickets; Nf. and Que. to Ont. and Man., s. to Ga., Ala., and Mo. May, June. (Decachaena b.)
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.