This native shrub is 5-20' tall and sparingly to abundantly branched. The bark of twigs and young branches is gray or grayish brown and smooth, becoming covered with scattered white lenticels on older branches and the trunk. Deciduous alternate leaves occur along first-year shoots; these shoots are olive green, terete, and usually glabrous. The leaf blades are up to 3" long and 1" across; they are elliptic to ovate and shallowly serrated along their margins. The upper blade surfaces are medium to dark green and hairless, while their lower surfaces are pale green and slightly pubescent along the major veins. The slender petioles are up to ½" long and hairless to slightly pubescent.