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A deciduous shrub of loose branching habit 2 to 5 ft high; young twigs slightly downy. Leaves obovate or oval, pointed, tapering or rounded at the base, 11⁄2 to 4 in. long, 3⁄4 to 11⁄2 in. wide, green and more or less downy on both sides, thin. Flowers produced during June in racemes 1 to 2 in. long, each of the six to ten flowers being borne on a slender stalk about 1⁄2 in. long. Corolla roundish, bell-shaped, dull white or reddish, 1⁄5 in. long, lobes recurved. Fruits shining black, globose, 1⁄3 to 1⁄2 in. across.
Native of the south-eastern United States, and especially on the mountains of N. Carolina, whence it was introduced to Kew in 1891. It is most nearly allied to G. frondosa, differing in the pointed, thinner leaves, green on both sides, and in having a black fruit, but resembling that species in the loose sparsely flowered racemes. The fruit is described as insipid. The foliage usually colours well in the autumn.