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A deciduous shrub with arching, biennial stems 6 to 10 ft long, very glaucous and armed with scattered short spines. Leaves dark green, composed of three (sometimes five, pinnately arranged) leaflets, which are ovate, 11⁄2 to 4 in. long, pointed, coarsely and unequally toothed, covered with a close white felt beneath. Flowers white, 1⁄2 in. across, produced in terminal few-flowered corymbs in June; prickles in inflorescence straight and terete. Fruits purple-black, hemispherical.
Native of eastern and central North America and the parent of several commercial fruiting varieties grown there. In this country it is only worth growing for the long, arching, blue-white stems, and even in this respect it is not the equal of Asiatic species such as R. biflorus and R. cockburnianus. There is a variety with yellow fruits.
R. occidentalis var. leucodermis (Torr. & Gr.) Focke