Shrubs 1-3 m. Stems ± terete; young shoots puberulent. Leaves: petiole 2.5-3.5(-6) cm; blade obovate to oblong (widest distal to midpoint), 5-9(-12) × 2-4(-6) cm, base cuneate to rounded, margins obscurely to clearly toothed, especially distally (proximalmost tooth averaging 3.4 cm distal to base), apex obtuse to acute, surfaces sparsely hairy and glabrescent abaxially, glabrous adaxially. Inflorescences solitary or in clusters of 2-4, (6-)9-15(-19) cm, axis sparsely stellate-hairy. Pedicels 2-4 mm, proximalmost averaging 3 mm, shortly stellate-hairy; bract shorter than flower, proximalmost 5-7 mm, shortly stellate-hairy. Flowers: sepals 3.5-5 × 1-1.5 mm, stellate-pubescent; petals white (rarely pink abaxially or on both surfaces), 5-8 × 4-5 mm; filaments 4-6(-6.5) × 0.2-0.3(-0.4) mm, glabrous; anthers 1-1.3 mm; style 6-7 mm, hairy in proximal 1/2, hairs simple, straight. Capsules subglobose, 2.5-4 × 3.5-5.3 mm. Seeds 1-1.5 mm. 2n = 16, 32. Flowering summer. Broad-leaved swamps, Chamaecyparis swamps, wet pine forests, sometimes in dry, sandy woods and rocky, acidic ridge tops; 0-200 (-400) m; N.S.; Ala., Conn., Del., Fla., Ga., La., Maine, Md., Mass., Miss., N.H., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Pa., R.I., S.C., Tex., Va.
Shrub to 3 m; lvs obovate-oblong, 5-10 cm, obtuse or subacute, finely and sharply serrate distally, mostly entire below the middle, tapering to a petiole 0.5-1(-2) cm, racemes erect, 5-15(-20) cm, densely short-hairy as also the pedicels (2-5 mm) and cal; pet oblong- obovate, 5-7 mm, glabrous; filaments glabrous; style strigillose; frs ±ascending, pubescent, 3 mm thick; 2n=32. Swamps and moist woods, mostly near the coast; N.S. and Me. to Fla. and Tex. July, Aug.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.