A shrub or miniature tree, rarely more than 6 or 8 ft high, with hairy young shoots; thorns slender, up to 11⁄4 in. long. Leaves obovate, always tapered at the base, rounded or bluntish at the apex, rather coarsely (often doubly) round-toothed; 1 to 2 in. long, 1⁄2 to 1 in. wide; dark glossy green and with short scattered hairs above; pale, dull and downy on the midrib and veins beneath; stalk 1⁄6 in. or less long. Flowers creamy white, 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 in. across; solitary or in pairs, occasionally in threes. Flower-stalk and calyx shaggy; calyx-lobes linear, conspicuously glandular-toothed; stamens about twenty, anthers whitish. Fruit pear-shaped to globose, about 1⁄2 in. long, yellow or greenish yellow, with the large calyx-lobes adhering at the top.
Native of the south-eastern United States; introduced early in the eighteenth century. It is an interesting and very distinct thorn, but in no way showy. Its small stature, often solitary flowers, and especially the long, persistent, prominently toothed calyx-lobes, distinguish it.
C. vailiae Britt., allied to C. uniflora, differs in the leaves being ovate or oval and pointed, in the longer leaf-stalks, in the two- to six-flowered corymbs, and in the more globose red fruit. Native of Virginia and N. Carolina.