Tree to 12 m; lvs mostly ovate or cordate, acuminate, dark green and glossy above, glabrous or nearly so, 2-6 נ2-5 cm, coarsely and irregularly serrate and with 1-4 pairs of lateral lobes, the basal pair of lobes the largest, the others very shallow, the veins running to the sinuses as well as to the points of the lobes; petiole 1-2 cm, eglandular; fls 1-1.3 cm wide, in compound glabrous cymes; sep short-deltoid, acute or apiculate, tending to fall from the fr; fr 4-5 mm thick, bright scarlet; nutlets 3-5. Both native and as an escape from cult.; Pa. to n. Fla., w. to Ill. and Mo.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.
Leaves ovate to deltoid in outline, sometimes appearing 3-lobed, mostly 2-6 cm long, 2-5 cm wide, acute or acuminate at the apex, rounded, truncate or cordate at the base, serrate with broad, shallow teeth, usually with 1-3 pairs of lateral lobes, the lowest pair often enlarged and with spreading, acuminate points, firm at maturity, glabrous, glossy on the upper surface; petioles very slender, a third to two thirds the length of the blades; flowers small, 10-12 mm in diameter, in glabrous, compound, mostly 10-30-flowered corymbs; stamens about 20; anthers pale yellow; fruit subglobose, 5-7 mm in diameter, long persistent, in many-fruited clusters, bright scarlet, becoming succulent at maturity; calyx relatively large, often entirely deciduous leaving the tops of the nutlets exposed; nutlets usually 5. A tree up to 10 m high, with brown gray, scaly bark, numerous ascending or spreading branches, forming a low, conical crown, and slender branchlets usually abundantly armed with slender thorns. Known in Indiana only from Wayne County, where it has possibly escaped, but it should be sought as a native plant in the southern counties. This species is highly ornamental and desirable for planting on account of its abundant flowers and the brilliant color of the fruit which is produced in large, pendulous clusters, remaining on the tree until late in the season.