It is a small shrub, growing to 1–2 m tall. The leaves are alternate, simple, 3–5 cm long and broad, and palmately lobed with five lobes, with a serrated margin. The flowers are 4–6 mm diameter, with five reddish-green to brownish petals; they are produced in racemes 5–10 cm long. When not in fruit, the plant looks similar to the redcurrant shrub, distinguished by a strong fragrance from leaves and stems. The fruit is an edible berry 1 cm diameter, very dark purple in colour, almost black, with a glossy skin and a persistent calyx at the apex, and containing several seeds dense in nutrients. An established bush can produce up to 5 kilograms of berries during summer.
Native to northern and central Europe and northern Asia