Erect habit, mainly branching from the base and eventually as wide as high. Can attain 1.5m in woodland, but in the garden rarely to 60cm. Leaves mainly obovate to oblanceolate but variable, 3-8cm long, deep lustrous green, leathery, rosetted to aggregated at the stem tips. Flowers green to yellow-green, 3-8mm long by 5-8mm across, in dense horizontal to more or less nodding axillary clusters, sometimes scented at dusk, late winter to spring. Fruits fleshy, black. Europe including the British Isles and from Portugal to the Balkans, North Africa and Azores, in woodland, often semi-coniferous, from sea level to 2000m. D.I. subsp. philippi is always under 45cm in height with more or less decumbent branches. Pyrenees.