Its narrow bright green leaves are alternately arranged and occur clustered near the end of branches. Small white flowers with purple stripes occur singly on the twigs below the leaves in the spring and year-round. Green pea-sized drupes ripen to black fruits. They are crowded together along the stems and each has only one seed. Although edible, the fruit is appealing to birds and not humans. Derivatives found in the bark show antibiotic activity and show some potential for treating chloroquine resistant malaria. The Miccosukee Indians mixed the leaves with tobacco. Old timers used the bark to help tan leather.