Arborescent shrub or tree to 10 m, the top tending to be compact and conical; twigs glabrous, or villous when young; lvs glabrous, or often roughly short-hairy above at least when young, broad-based, mostly ovate to suborbicular, with 3-5 pairs of lateral lobes, mostly 3-7 נ2.5-6 cm; fls 1.3-2 cm wide, in glabrous or villous compound cymes; petiole 1/3-4/5 as long as the blade, often glandular; sep glandular-serrate, usually deeply so; fr 0.7-1.3 cm thick, bright red and often succulent, with 3-5 nutlets. N. Engl. and se. Can. to Del. and W.Va. (and in the mts. to N.C.), w. to Minn., Ill., and Ky. (C. confragosa; C. hillii; C. holmesiana; C. pedicellata; C. pennsylvanica; C. pringlei; C. putnamiana; C. tortilis)
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.
Leaves ovate or broadly ovate, mostly 4-8 cm long, 3.5-7 cm wide, pointed or acuminate at the apex, rounded, truncate or subcordate at the base, sharply and rather finely serrate, usually with 3-5 pairs of small or obscure lateral lobes terminated by acuminate, spreading or reflexed teeth, scabrate or short-villous above and sometimes slightly villous on the veins beneath when young, thin and barely firm at maturity and then glabrous on both surfaces or with slight traces of pubescence beneath; petioles slender, a third to half the length of the blades, slightly villous or glabrous; flowers 16-22 mm in diameter, in compound, mostly 6-12-flowered, more or less villous corymbs; calyx lobes lanceolate, usually glandular-serrate; stamens 5-10; anthers pink or red; fruit oblong, slightly pyriform or nearly globose, 10-14 mm thick, 10-16 mm long, glabrous, bright crimson or scarlet at maturity, with soft, mellow flesh; nutlets 3-5. A tree 6-8 m high, or often a stout arborescent shrub, with gray, slightly scaly bark, and numerous ascending or spreading branches, forming a conical or round crown; branchlets rather stout, often flexuous, and armed with numerous stout thorns. Uncommon in Indiana and found in thickets, pastures, and borders of woods. Indiana specimens are mostly from high, wooded banks of streams.