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A shrub 3 to 12 ft high with spreading or upright branches armed with slender spines 1 to 11⁄2 in. long. Leaves thin, glabrous, ovate, rounded or wedge shaped at the base, 11⁄4 to 21⁄4 in. long, margins double-toothed, with shallow, pointed lobes; stalks slender, about 1 in. long. Corymb three- to seven-flowered; bracts and sepals glandular; stamens usually ten, with pale yellow or pinkish anthers. Fruit roundish to ellipsoid, reddish brown, with three to five nutlets. In var. straminea Palmer, the leaves are usually broadest near the middle, the anthers usually pink or purple and the fruit yellowish green to dull orange. Both are natives of eastern N. America.