A fine broadleaf evergreen shrub known much more widely to southern gardeners where the species and its cultivars see much wider landscape cultivation. In recent years we've tried a few cultivars in the garden and have been surprised with the cold hardiness that many possess when grown in sheltered locations that are free from winter wind and prolonged exposure to drying sunlight. Plants develop a dense, oval framework of large, deep green leaves that provide year round interest. An abundance of small purple flowers provide an accent in spring followed by crops of red fruit in autumn on female plants when grown near male pollinators. Plants are easy to cultivate showing adaptability to a range of soil conditions. In our region, full shade and winter protection is required for success.