Native throughout the British Isles, it grows to 30ft (9m).
It usually flourishes wherever the nitrogen content of the soil is high and does well in rich neglected ground.
The plant colonises an area quickly due to its speed of growth.
Large instantly recognisable white flower heads appear in early July followed by a mass of small black fruit. The fruit and flowers make excellent wines and jams and are rich in vitamin C.
Often found in hedgerows, it is not recommended that it is planted in new hedges as it is agressive and will result in large gaps once established.