General: erect, more or less branching shrub 0.3-1 m tall, spreading freely from rhizomes and often forming dense colonies. Young twigs short-hairy or rarely hairless.
Leaves: opposite, on stalks 3-10 mm long. The blades elliptic or ovate, often broadly so, entire or often with a few coarse, blunt, irregular teeth, mostly 2.5-8 cm long and 1.5-5 cm wide, or larger on sterile shoots and then often more lobed, hairless above, usually short-stiff-hairy beneath, at least along the main veins.
Flovers: white to light pink, few to several in short, dense, short-stalked clusters at the ends of the twigs and in the upper leaf axils. Corolla 5-8 mm long, often wider than long, densely hairy within, the 5 lobes spreading, as long as or commonly a little longer than the tube. Stamens projecting, the anthers mostly 1.5-2 mm long and shorter than the filaments. The style elongate, 4-7 mm long, long-hairy near the middle, varying to occasionally hairless. Flowering time: June-August.
Fruits: drupes, berry-like, white and waxy, almost round, mostly 6-9 mm long, persisting through winter. Nutlets mostly 3.5 mm long and 2-2.5 mm wide.