Arbust. Amer. 151. 1785.
Shrubs to 2 m, usually monoecious, low, diffusely branched, straggling, spreading to prostrate. Bark reddish, very thin. Branches spreading and ascending. Leaves 1–2.5 cm × 1–2.4 mm, pale green abaxially, mostly without cuticular papillae along stomatal bands, dark green to yellow-green adaxially, epidermal cells as viewed in cross section of leaf wider than tall or ± isodiametric. Seed somewhat flattened, 4–5 mm. 2n = 24.
Phenology: Seeds maturing late summer–early fall.
Habitat: Understory shrub in rich forests (deciduous, mixed, or coniferous), bogs, swamps, gorges, ravine slopes, and rocky banks
Elevation: 0–1500 m
St. Pierre and Miquelon, Man., N.B., Nfld. and Labr. (Nfld.), N.S., Ont., P.E.I., Que., Conn., Ill., Ind., Iowa, Ky., Maine, Mass., Mich., Minn., N.H., N.Y., Ohio, Pa., R.I., Tenn., Vt., Va., W.Va., Wis.