Shrub or small tree used for forestry purposes, but also for ornamental use. Medicinal. Excellent for hedges and well-known to decorate houses at Christmas. The leaves and berries are used to decorate the houses at Christmas. It has diuretic and laxative properties if used as herbal tea. The wood is of great value in cabinet-making and carpentry. It is a protected species therefore the berries must not be collected in forests without authorization.
Evergreen tree growing to 10-25 m tall and 40-80 cm trunk diameter, with smooth grey bark. The leaves are variable in shape; on young plants and low branches, with three to five sharp spines on each side, pointing alternately upward and downward. The flowers are dioecious, white, four-lobed, and pollinated by bees. The fruit is a red drupe.
Prefers cool and protected soils.
Depending on the geographical areas and altitude sowing can take place from February to April. To obtain a more regular and faster germination stratify in cold the seeds for 12 months before the sowing. It is possible to use a sowing substrate for potting or soil from the garden together with a sowing substrate if the sowing is made directly into the garden. The substrate must be wet but not soggy until the germination is completed.