false box Celastraceae Paxistima
myrsinites (Pursh) Raf.
Leaf: Opposite, simple, evergreen, elliptical to obovate, leathery, very small (1/2 to 1 1/2 inch long), shallowly toothed on upper half or margin entire, shiny dark green above and dull light green below, glabrous, petioles short.
Flower: Species is monoecious; small, red to maroon with 4 petals, borne in the leaf axils, late spring to mid-summer.
Fruit: A 1/4 inch capsule, 2-valved, splitting when dry, one to 2 months after flowering.
Twig: Slender, green to red-brown, 4-angled.
Bark: Smooth, lenticellate and reddish brown.
Form: A densely branched shrub, to 4 feet tall, but often only one foot tall, easily missed in the forest.