Shrub to 1.5 m, the young stems glabrous or very sparsely stellate; petiole short, pubescent, mostly with a pair of linear stipules; lvs ovate-lanceolate to subrotund, 3-7 cm, glabrous or nearly so above, acuminate or acute, basally obtuse to subcordate, coarsely serrate, the teeth usually 6-10 on each side; cymes 4-7-rayed; sessile or on peduncles to 6 cm; hypanthium glandular; stylopodium glabrous; fr blue-black, flat-ellipsoid, 6-8 mm; stone flattened, shallowly grooved on both sides; 2n=36. May, June. Two vars.
Var. rafinesquianum: Petioles 2-15 (avg 6) mm, often exceeded by the stipules, avg ca a tenth as long as the blade; lvs softly stellate beneath. Dry, especially calcareous woods; Vt. to Man., s. to N.J., O. and Mo. (V. pubescens)
Var. affine: petioles 4-20 (avg 10) mm, usually exceeding the stipules, a fifth to a tenth as long as the blade; lvs pilose on the veins beneath, at least near the base, otherwise glabrous. Rocky woods; s. Ont. to N.D., sw. to Ark. and Okla. (V. affine)
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.
In clay soil on white oak slopes and their bases, in sandy soil on the crests and slopes of wooded ridges, and in moist places at their bases. All of our specimens and reports are from Marion County and northward.
Indiana Coefficient of Conservatism: C = 7
Wetland Indicator Status: N/A
Diagnostic Traits: leaves not lobed, pinnately veined; lateral veins +/- straight and sparingly branched, terminating in a tooth on leaf margin; petioles of upper leaves <5 mm; stipules present.