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A tree 20 to 35 ft high; young shoots glabrous; thorns up to 11⁄2 in. long, often absent. Leaves ovate or oval, always wedge-shaped at the base, the terminal part toothed, often shallowly lobed as well; 11⁄2 to 31⁄2 in. long, 3⁄4 to 21⁄2 in. wide; dark glossy green above, and when mature, quite glabrous, except for tufts of down in the vein-axils beneath; stalk 1⁄2 to 11⁄2 in. long. Flowers white, 3⁄4 in. across, borne in May and June in corymbs 11⁄2 to 2 in. across. Flower-stalk and calyx glabrous, except that the lobes of the latter are sometimes downy inside; stamens twenty, anthers pale yellow; styles two to five. Fruit globose, 1⁄4 to 1⁄3 in. diameter, bright red.
Native of the south-eastern United States. It grows well in cultivation, but is not one of the most attractive of thorns, the flowers, and especially the fruits not being abundant. It is the type species of a group of American thorns, one of which is:
C. viridis var. nitida Engelm