Branches glabrous, ascending. Leaves: opposite, nearly sessile, linear-oblong, margins strongly revolute. Flowers: in simple terminal umbels; bracts large; sepals ovate, much imbricated, persistent.

Growing usually about a foot high, though frequently only a few inches tall, it bears at the ends of its slender branches large clusters of bright rose-red or magenta flowers, which have a five-lobed corolla and ten stamens, whose filaments are slightly curved, by reason of the red-brown anthers being caught in the ten pouches which are placed below the limbs, or expanded lobes of the corolla. If you flip the outer edge of the Swamp Laurel gently with your finger, you will see the little stamens spring upright, sending forth a shower of pollen from their anthers in the process. The heart of the flower is usually pale green. Its evergreen foliage is dark green above and covered with a white bloom beneath. The Swamp Laurel, as its common name implies, grows in marshy ground.