Rhizomatous shrub 1-2(-3) m; stems, peduncles, and cal densely to sparsely hispid with glandular hairs 2-5 mm, those of the stem tending to persist and become indurate; lfls 7-13, ovate-oblong to subrotund, 3-6 cm; racemes usually 3-10-fld; fls rose or pink-purple, 2.5-3 cm; ovary densely glandular; fr densely hispid. Mt. woods; Va. and Ky. to Ga. and Ala., sometimes escaped from cult. as far n. as Me. and Minn. June, July. The common var. hispida is triploid (2n=30) and fruits poorly or not at all (the frs often formed, but nearly or quite seedless); the rare var. fertilis (Ashe) R. T. Clausen, probably not native with us, is diploid and fertile (2n=20). Var. fertilis is being grown as ground cover on mine spoil etc. in Pa. Vigorous subglabrous triploids, native from sw. Va. to N.C. and n. Ga., sometimes cult. elsewhere, have been called var. rosea Pursh; an origin through hybridization with R. pseudoacacia has been suggested.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.