A deciduous, tall shrub or sometimes a small tree, 20 to 30 ft high; branchlets rigid, glabrous and reddish when young. Leaves glabrous, ovate, oval or obovate, sometimes roundish, 11⁄2 to 31⁄2 in. long, 1 to 2 in. wide, rounded or wedge-shaped at the base, blunt or short-pointed at the apex, dull green above, pale below; stalks not or slightly winged, reddish, 1⁄3 to 3⁄4 in. long. Flowers white, 1⁄4 in. across, uniformly perfect, produced during June in scarcely stalked cymes 2 to 4 in. across. Fruits dark blue, oval, 1⁄2 to 2⁄3 in. long, sweet and edible.
Native of eastern and eastern-central N. America, ranging in the south as far west as Texas: introduced early in the 18th century. This makes a very handsome small tree, especially if kept to a single stem when young, forming a shapely rounded head of branches. The leaves colour red and yellow in the autumn. It is allied to V. lentago and V. rufidulum.