Is a semi-woody herbaceous perennial vine. The flowers are in loose clusters of 3–20, 1–1.5 cm across, star-shaped, with five purple petals and yellow stamens and style pointing forward. It produces red berries which are poisonous to humans.
Very wide range of habitats, from woodlands to scrubland, hedges and marshes. The plant grows well in dark areas in places where it can receive the light of morning or afternoon. An area receiving bright light for many hours reduces their development. It grows more easily in rich wet soils with plenty of nitrogen.