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A low, spreading, deciduous shrub 3 to 5 ft high; shoots downy or almost glabrous. Leaves aromatically fragrant when bruised, trifoliate, with a common stalk 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 in. long. Leaflets not stalked, the side ones broadly ovate, the terminal one the largest, obovate, and 11⁄2 to 3 in. long, the side ones about half as big; all coarsely toothed, lower surface downy, becoming glabrous. Flowers yellowish, in dense roundish clusters 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 in. across, produced in April at the end of short stalks on the shoots of the preceding year. Fruits red, hairy, about the size of small red currants.
Native of eastern N. America; introduced in 1759. It is a variable species, but is probably represented in cultivation only by the typical variety, described above. It is rather pretty in spring, when its twigs are clothed with the abundant yellow flowers, and its scented foliage is handsome and distinct.
R. aromatica var. trilobata (Torr. & Gr.) A. Gray