Deciduous shrub, 1.5 ft to 5 ft (0.5 to nearly 2 m) tall. Branches are sprawling, covered with prickles. Produces berries which are somewhat palatable to humans.
Rocky and sandy shores, stony banks, talus slopes and outcrops and in clearings, moist woods, and thickets, generally at low elevations in the forest. Moderately shade tolerant, occurring in open woods and forests.
Moist open woods and hillsides, and along streams.