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A deciduous shrub of erect habit, 4 to 10 ft high; young shoots minutely downy. Leaves ovate-lanceolate to oval-oblong, 1 to 3 in. long, 1 to 11⁄2 in. wide, tapered to both ends, finely toothed or entire, bright green and glabrous above, pale or glaucous beneath; shortly stalked. Flowers white or pink, in short axillary clusters of six to ten; corolla 1⁄3 in. long, cylindrical but slightly tapered towards the mouth, where are five tiny, reflexed teeth; calyx five-lobed, lobes triangular. Fruits globose, black, 1⁄4 in. wide, sometimes slightly covered with bloom. Bot. Mag., t. 3522.
Native of eastern N. America from Southern Virginia southwards, often in swamps. Much confused in gardens with V. corymbosum which has a more urceolate, less cylindrical corolla. Probably some of the plants called V. virgatum in gardens and valued for their autumn tints are really V. corymbosum.