Bushy shrub of alder-like aspect, usually in clumps, or a small tree to 8 m; lvs elliptic or elliptic-oblong to somewhat obovate, to 8 cm, rounded to subacute at the tip, often mucronate, broadly cuneate to rounded at base, finely and often obscurely serrate, the blunt teeth at least twice as many as the veins, which branch and anastomose toward the margin; lvs at anthesis ±exserted from the bud but still folded and densely tomentose beneath, glabrescent at maturity; racemes erect, short, dense; pedicels tomentose, at anthesis mostly 5-15 mm, the lowest becoming 12-20 mm in fr; hypanthium tomentose externally; sep 2-4 mm, soon spreading or somewhat recurved, but not strongly reflexed; pet usually oblong-obovate, 5-12 mm; ovary glabrous at the summit; fr dark purple to black; mostly diploid, sometimes polyploid. Swamps and shores and moist woods; Nf. to Miss., inland to c. N.H. and w.c. N.Y., but southward chiefly on the coastal plain. Apr.-June. (A. lucida)
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.