A dense, upright shrub when young, becoming rounded with age. Commonly grows 6-7' but can get larger. Foliage emerges in spring with a bronze or chocolate-purple tint, then glossy dark green. Flowers are creamy-white, flat-topped cymes in June. Impressive fruit display, changing from green to white to pink to rose to blue before becoming blue-black in September. Often all colors are present in the same cluster at one time. Fall colors are varying degrees of yellow, orange-red, dull crimson, and purple.
The fruit of this species is one of its most impressive features. Very effective when grown in mass plantings.
This species is very tolerant of moist soil conditions. Can be found growing native from mountain tops to along the edges of streams.