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A deciduous shrub of compact habit, up to 10 ft high; young bark downy, becoming purple. Leaves ovate, mostly rounded at the base, with short, abrupt points; 2 to 4 in. long, 1 to 21⁄4 in. wide; dark green and soon becoming glabrous above, paler and with silky down beneath, especially on the veins, the down often becoming rusty or tawny, stalks similarly downy, 1⁄4 to 2⁄3 in. long; veins in four to seven pairs. Flowers small, yellowish white, produced in July in cymes 11⁄2 to 21⁄2 in. across. Fruit 1⁄4 in. across, pale blue.
Native of eastern N. America; introduced in 1683. A shrub thriving well in our climate, but of no especial value. Its distinctive characters are its purple young wood with brown pith, the silky reddish down beneath the leaf, and the pale blue fruits.
C. purpusii Koehne