Indigenous in many parts of Central and Southern Europe where the plant grows from a shrub into a multiple-stemmed small tree with a dense, eventually round crown. Slow growing. Becomes as wide as it is high. Mature stems are grey brown and flaking, young twigs are green. The leaf is glossy green and turns into yellow or orange red in autumn. A striking inflorescence in winter, well before the leaves appear. The plant is completely covered with yellow flowers that appear in small, spherical umbels. In early autumn they are followed by oval, shiny red berry-like stone fruits of circa 2 cm across. They hang from short stalks and are edible, but taste slightly sour. Suitable for making marmelade, juice and wine. Root growth is densely branched and shallow. Prefers calcareous soils.