Native throughout the British Isles, it grows to around 65ft (20m) if left untrimmed.
It forms an excellent evergreen hedge, growing everywhere except on wet soils. It will generally tolerate conditions that would be too harsh for other trees.
The wood is used for carving, inlay work and woodcuts.
Birds feast on the berries in winter providing for a pre Christmas race with those of us wishing to decorate their homes. The plants are single sex with only female trees bearing berries. A mix of male and female plants is therefore required to obtain winter berries.