Habit: this evergreen shrub grows upright to 2 ft (60 cm) tall. Grows very slowly by stolons (runner above or just below the surface). The holly-like leaflets are thick and leathery, somewhat shiny and usually laying flat with pointed tips and small spiny teeth on the margins. Seven to 23 leaflets make up one full pinnately compound leaf. The inflorescence a small open spike comprised of small yellow fragrant flowers blooming from March-May. During the summer, clusters of berries mature to dark blue with a powdery whitish coating. In fall, some leaves turn a lovely wine-red.
Ecology: Only found in the Northwest usually in shady canyons and moist north slopes and coniferous forest under 6500 ft (2000 m).
Growing Conditions: full sun to full shade with moist slightly acidic soil rich in organic matter. Has the ability to be drought tolerant once established.
Flowers attract honeybees and are deer resistant.