Plants extensively mat-forming (often by layering), with erect branches from lateral buds, rooting and/or swelling into woody burls at nodes; twigs of current year reddish green, terete, finely hairy, not verrucose. Leaf blades dark green, elliptic to obovate, (10-)12-15(-39) × (4-)5-7(-24) mm, coriaceous, margins ± entire, surfaces glabrescent. Pedicels 0.1-0.3 cm. Flowers: calyx lobes distinct; corolla usually white, 3-5 mm; filaments ciliate. Berries black, 6-8 mm diam., insipid. 2n = 24. Flowering late spring. Coastal plain, open pine flatwoods, pine barrens, pocosin ecotones and associated disturbed areas, road cuts, fire trails, mown roadsides; 0-200 m; Ga., N.C., S.C., Va.
Roots woody, tuberous-thickened at intervals; stems trailing, to 1 m; lvs leathery, evergreen, elliptic, 5-15 mm, glabrous, remotely serrulate, much-thickened at the margin; fls in small lateral clusters much shorter than the subtending lvs; cor pink, 4 mm; fr purple- black; 2n=24. Pine-barrens and pocosins; se. Va. to S.C. and adj. Ga. Apr., May. (Herpothamnus c.)
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.