Plants 3-10(-15) dm, form-ing small to extensive colonies; branches spreading; twigs of current season pale green, glabrous. Leaves: petiole 1-2(-4) mm; blade pale green abaxially, green to yellowish green adaxially, ovate to oblong, (2-)2.5-5 × 1-2.5 cm, membranous to subcoriaceous, base cuneate, margins entire, apex rounded to obtuse, surfaces glabrous, sometimes puberulent on major veins, sessile-glandular. Inflorescences drooping, 3-7-flowered, bracteate, 0.5-1.5 cm, glabrous; bracts early-deciduous, not leaflike (linear-lanceolate), 2-4 mm, shorter than pedicels, glabrous, sessile-glandular. Pedicels 3-6 mm, glabrous, sessile-glandular; bracteoles 1(-2), 1-2 mm. Flowers: sepals 5, 0.7-1 mm, glabrous, sessile-glandular; petals 4-5, corolla orange to red, campanulate-conic, 4-5 mm, lobes 0.5-0.7 mm; filaments 2 mm, glabrous; anthers included, 2.2-2.5 mm, thecae divergent distally; ovary glabrous. Drupes juicy, sweet, glossy black (sometimes blue, rarely white), 6-7 mm diam., glabrous. Seeds ca. 2 mm. 2n = 24. Flowering late spring. Sandy or rocky soil in deciduous, pine, or mixed woods, roadsides, pastures, and utility rights-of-way, wet, acidic bogs, fens; 0-800 m; Man., N.B., Nfld. and Labr. (Nfld.), N.S., Ont., P.E.I., Que.; Ala., Ark., Conn., Del., D.C., Ga., Ill., Ind., Iowa, Ky., Maine, Md., Mass., Mich., Minn., Mo., N.H., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Ohio, Pa., R.I., S.C., Tenn., Vt., Va., W.Va., Wis.
From Flora of Indiana (1940) by Charles C. Deam
Found only in silicious and acid soils. In the northern part of the state it is usually found on wooded slopes with black oak or in black and pin oak woods, and rarely in tamarack bogs. In the "knobs" it is generally associated with chestnut oak and dryland blueberry; and in the "flats" it is found with sweet gum and pin oak.
Much-branched shrub to 1 m; lvs deciduous, elliptic to oblong or oblanceolate, 2-5 cm, entire, resinous-glandular on both sides; racemes short, rarely surpassing the lvs; pedicels commonly shorter than the fls; bracts oblong to linear, deciduous; pubescence of the infl and cal usually copious, the glands sessile and commonly numerous, the sep not ciliate; cor 4-6 mm, its tube half as thick; fr black, 6-8 mm; 2n=24. Dry, sandy or rocky soil, woods, and thickets; Nf. and Que. to Ont. and Man., s. to Ga., Ala., and Mo. May, June. (Decachaena b.)
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.