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A low evergreen shrub up to 1 ft high, with linear or narrow-oblong leaves, 1⁄2 to 1 in. long, 3⁄16 in. or less wide, shallowly toothed towards the apex, the margins decurved; quite glabrous. Flowers very small, greenish, borne on very slender-stalked cymes 1⁄2 in. long in the leaf-axils. Fruits 3⁄16 in. long, white.
Native of steep rocky slopes in the mountains from Virginia westward as far as south-east Ohio and north-east Kentucky; introduced to Kew in 1893, where it has proved hardy. It is of no beauty of flower, and its only merit as a garden shrub is its neat low habit, for it does not bear fruit freely with us. It is also of scientific interest because of its restricted geographical distribution. It is mainly confined to W. Virginia and is said to be found only on calcareous soils. It blooms from May to August.
The flowers of this species are often stained with red, at least on plants growing in sun.