This tree is a native of both the Old and the New World, but our American variety is nothing more than a straggling shrub. It is the chief food of a great many varieties of birds. The European variety under favorable circumstances reaches a height of from eighteen to twenty feet, with a diameter of from six to eight inches, but in Europe they grow to a considerable size. The berries of this tree are used in the manufacture of medicines, and as an extract to flavor liquors, especially gin. The Scotch and Swedish varieties are chiefly used as ornamental trees, and as such merit attention.

They are chiefly propagated by cuttings rooted by means of a bottom-heat. Great care should be taken to preserve the young trees from the frost, as a great many have been destroyed by severe winters.