A deciduous shrub growing to 4 m (13ft) by 4 m (13ft) at a medium rate. It is hardy to zone 5 and is not frost tender. It is in leaf in mid April, and flowers in June, with the seeds ripening from Sept to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and thus the plant is self-fertile.
A very cold-hardy plant when fully dormant, but the flowers and young growth in spring can be damaged by late frosts
The fruit when eaten raw has a sweet taste, with a very nice delicate flavour. The fruit looks like a bright blue sausage or broad bean pod and is up to 10cm long. You peel off the skin in much the same way as you would peel a broad bean pod, this reveals a line of seed running the entire length of the fruit surrounded by a layer of edible flesh.