A member of the olive family, F. pubescens is a low growing to tall shrub from the swampprivet genus. These trees are found, as their name genus name would indicate, near water. In the Mojave area, that means they're found near streams and creeks in the eastern Sierra Nevadas. These shrubs are winter deciduous, and can be found either singly or in large stands.
Like most members of this genus, F. pubesces is dioecious, meaning that there are separate male and female plants. Flowering occurred in March to April. When mature, the fruits resemble small, black olives, which were found in tight clumps at the branch nodes.