Distribution: Widely distributed on both sides of the Cascades crest in Washington; Alaska to California, east to the Great Plains, Great Lakes region, and northeastern North America.
Habitat: Moist woods and streambanks to open, rocky hillsides from low elevations to the subalpine.
Conservation Status: Not of concern
Perennial herbs from wide-spreading rhizomes, the erect flowering stems 2-6 dm. tall.
Leaves alternate, sessile, flat to folded, oblong-lanceolate, pointed, 5-17 cm. long and 1.5-5 cm. broad, glabrous to pubescent at least on the lower side, heavily veined.
Flowers 5-20 in a raceme 3-6 cm. long, the rachis usually zig-zag; pedicels 5-20 mm. long; tepals 6, white, narrowly oblong, 4-7 mm. long, much longer than the 6 stamens; style 1 mm. long.
Fruit a berry, greenish-yellow becoming blackish.