General: Deciduous, erect, much-branched shrub, often densely colonial from rhizomes, 0.5-3 m tall; older stems dark greyish-brown with shredding bark; branchlets glabrous; twigs thin, wiry.
Leaves: Opposite, on stalks 2-4 mm long, elliptic to oval, 1.5-5 cm long and 1-3.5 cm wide, obtuse at base and tip, margins entire or occasionally with a few wavy teeth; leaves often larger and irregularly lobed on sterile shoots; glabrous above, glabrous or spreading-hairy beneath.
Flowers: Inflorescence of short, dense clusters (racemes) of few, short-stalked to nearly stalked flowers, at ends of twigs and often also in upper leaf axils; corollas widely bell-shaped, 5-7 mm long, hairy within; petals pink to whitish, fused at bases into tubes that flare at top to 5 lobes, which are as long to half as long as the tubes; styles 2-3 mm long, glabrous; stamens shorter than corolla lobes, the anthers 1-1.5 mm long, about as long as the filaments.
Fruits: Berrylike drupes, densely clustered, waxy white, ellipsoid or nearly globose, 5-15 mm long; nutlets 2, each enclosing a seed; some fruits persist through the winter.
Notes: Two varieties occur in BC:
1. Plants 0.5-1 m tall; fruits usually less than 1 cm long; infrequent in E BC................... var. albus
1. Plants 1-3 m tall; fruits 1-1.5 cm long; our common phase......................... var. laevigatus (Fern.) Blake
Mesic to dry meadows, disturbed areas, grasslands, shrublands, and forests in the lowland, steppe and montane zones; extremely common in S BC, common in C BC, infrequent northward; N to NT, E to PQ, and S to NE, VA, CO and CA.
Recommended citation: Author, Date. Page title. In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2013. E-Flora BC:
Electronic Atlas of the Plants of British Columbia [eflora.bc.ca]. Lab for
Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British
Columbia, Vancouver. [Accessed:
5/21/2013 8:18:44 PM
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