Flowers, in catkins, leafy-bracted. The staminate are feathery, with 5 stamens in each flower; pistillate, denser. harder, longer, 2 to 3 inches long, often remaining far into the spring. Twigs smooth, polished, yellowish or dark green. Leaves, ovate, lance - shape, sharply and finely toothed, tapering at apex, glossy green on both sides, 3 to 5 inches long, on stout, short petioles. Stipules, rather prominent, heart-shape, glandular. Young leaves covered with stiff, reddish-brown hairs. April and May.
One of the prettiest shrubs of this Family, 8 to 15 feet high, or a small tree, 20 feet high, of regular, bushy form, found in swamps and the borders of streams from Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Nebraska northward.