Small tree or multistemmed shrub, dioecious. Leaves narrowly oval, smooth or with edges somewhat rolled under, with strong odor of cucumber when broken. Flowers bell-shaped, greenish white, with unpleasant odor. All flowers with 15 stamens, female flowers with 5 pistils. Hanging clusters of flowers open in late winter before leaves emerge. Fruit pink turning deep blue when ripe, looks like small plum covered with white waxy powder. Grows in edges of shaded forests, oak savannas, chaparral, at low to mid-elevations. Our earliest blooming native shrub. A common roadside plant around Puget Sound.
- Rarity: Locally Common
- Flowering Time: Early Spring
- Life Cycle: Perennial
- Height: 3--15 feet
- Habitat: West-Side Forest, Moist Riverbanks
- Found In: Olympic NP, Mt. Rainier NP, N Cascades NP, West Gorge, Siskiyous
- Native: Yes