This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol2", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Shrubs with opposite simple serrulate or entire deciduous or persistent leaves (punctate in some southern species), and small yellow or greenish dioecious or polygamous flowers, fascicled, short-racemose or paniculate from scaly buds produced at the axils of the preceding season, appearing before or with the leaves. Calyx wanting, obsolete, or minute and 4-toothed or 4-parted. Corolla wanting, or of 1 or 2 small deciduous petals. Stamens 2-4; anthers ovate or oblong. Ovary ovoid, 2-celled; ovules 2 in each cell, pendulous; style slender; stigma 2-lobed. Fruit an oblong or subglobose drupe with 1 or rarely 2 seeds. [In honor of Charles Le Forestier, a French physician.]
About 15 species, natives of America. Besides the following, which is the type species, about 7 others occur in the southern and southwestern United States.
Adelia acuminata Michx. Fl. Bor. Am. a: 225. pl. 48.
A shrub or small tree, sometimes reaching a height of 300 and a trunk diameter of 8', the branches somewhat spiny, the foliage glabrous. Leaves ovate, lanceolate or oblong, acuminate or acute at both ends, finely denticulate, 1'-4' long, 1/2'-2' wide; petioles slender, 4"-12" long; staminate flowers fascicled; pistillate flowers short-paniculate; calyx obsolete; drupe narrowly oblong when mature, about 1/2' long, when young fusiform and often curved.