A shrub up to 6 or 10 ft high, of thin habit; young shoots covered with pale bristles; axillary buds not hidden by base of leaf-stalk. Leaves three-nerved, ovate (broadly so on the barren shoots), rounded or tapered at the base, taper-pointed, margins set with irregular, coarse, outstanding teeth, 3⁄4 to 3 in. long, 1⁄2 to 13⁄4 in. wide, downy and dull green above, shaggy beneath; stalk 1⁄3 in. or less in length. Flowers 1 to 11⁄4 in. across, sometimes solitary, often in threes on lateral twigs 1 in. or less long, bearing as a rule one pair of leaves. Petals creamy white; calyx shaggy, with triangular lobes; stigmas united, Bot. Mag., t. 5334.
Native of the south-eastern United States; introduced in 1820. Although one of the most easily recognised of a confusing genus, this species is one of the least attractive. Its flowers are scentless, and comparatively few. Its distinguishing marks are its exposed axillary buds, its short one- or three-flowered twigs, its dull shaggy leaves, etc., and united stigmas.