This deciduous shrub is usually multistemmed with arching branches and a relatively loose broad crown. Larger or older woody stems are light grayish brown. The flowers have a strong, sweet fragrance with musty overtones. At maturity during mid- to late summer, berries (~¼") are dark purple to black, juicy with 3-5 small seeds. They taste sweet with a slightly bitter aftertaste. The root system is shallow and rhizomatous, and can spread.
The pollen attracts a variety of insects, including honeybees, little carpenter bees, flies, and beetles. Little bees tunnel into the soft pith of broken stems, causing little damage. Many birds eat the small fruits.
Soil Type: Wet Mesic- Mesic
Soil Conditions: loamy clay soil/ sandy with organic matter
Flower Color: White
Light: Full sun- part sun
Photo/Image and info credit: Illinoiswildflowers.info