R. copalltna is a low shrub, from 3 to 5 feet high. This is the most beautiful of the genus, owing to the bright, glossy, dark green of the leaflets, on broadly winged petioles. Pyramidal bunches of greenish white flowers stand up from the ends of the branches during the summer, followed by a bunch of roundish red berries, gray dotted. Leaflets, 9 to 21, unequal at base, generally entire.

The bark of all members of this Family is highly charged with tannin; hence is useful in tanning leather. R. coriaria, a foreign species, is most used for this purpose, and finds a market in Great Britain, being exported from Sicily and Italy.