Comprehensive DescriptionRead full entry
DescriptionThis is a native perennial shrub that is about 5-10' tall. The woody stems tend to arch outward from the base, particularly when there are drupes or flowers. These stems have a white pith, and are brittle and weak. The compound leaves are oddly pinnate, consisting of 2-4 pairs of opposite leaflets and a single terminal leaflet. Each leaflet is 2-3" long and about half as wide, with an ovate shape and slightly serrate margins. The overall effect is similar to the compound leaves of an Ash tree. The tiny white flowers occur in rather flat compound umbels about 4-6" across, and have a pleasant, if somewhat musty, fragrance. They bloom during the early summer for about a month, from which small purple drupes develop later in the summer. Occasionally, some of the woody stems will die back during the winter, but these are replaced by new stems appearing from the base.