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A deciduous shrub 6 to 8 ft high; young shoots glabrous. Leaves narrowly oval, obovate or lanceolate, tapered at both ends, 11⁄2 to 21⁄2 in. long, 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 in. wide, finely pointed, obscurely toothed, pale green and glossy on both surfaces, and glabrous except sometimes for a little down along the veins beneath; stalk 1⁄4 in. or less long. Male flower on slender stalks 1⁄3 to 3⁄4 in. long; female ones on very short stalks; calyx glabrous. Fruits orange-red, 1⁄3 in. in diameter, solitary.
Native of the eastern United States; introduced in 1812. This is not so well known in gardens as I. verticillata, nor is it perhaps so ornamental with us. It is closely allied to that species, under the notice of which some distinctions are pointed out. It may be added here that the leaf-stalks are generally shorter and the fruits larger in I. laevigata. Both species grow in low, wet situations in the wild.