Evergreen shrub with stiff leaves up to 8 inches long, prickly around the edges. New growth is bright copper colored. Leaves are toxic. Flowers are clusters of small white flowers in spring, up to 6 inches across. Fruit: bright red berries appearing in fall.
Habitat: open woods, thickets, disturbed sites, and creek beds. Frequent in juniper-oak woodlands on limestone slopes and in canyon bottoms, often common near older residential developments. Very shade tolerant. Native to China. Found from Louisiana to Georgia.