Shrubs. Stems erect or spreading, glabrous or sparsely short-hairy, glabrescent; branches without silvery scales. Leaves persistent; blade oblong, lanceolate, oblanceolate, or elliptic, coriaceous, margins entire or spinulose-serrulate, plane, surfaces not glaucous, without silvery scales, glabrous or hairy abaxially; venation reticulodromous. Inflorescences axillary, fascicled or solitary racemes, (not leafy), 8-60-flowered, (produced on previous year´s wood); (bracteoles 2, medial or proximal, partly covering pedicel). Flowers: sepals 5, slightly connate, lanceolate-ovate to broadly ovate; petals 5, connate nearly their entire lengths, white, corolla cylindric to urceolate, lobes much shorter than tube; stamens 8(-10), included; filaments straight, flattened, glabrous or hairy, without spurs; anthers with or without 2 awns proximal to anther-filament junction, dehiscent through terminal pores; pistil 5-carpellate; ovary pseudo 10-locular; (style scarcely longer than stamens); stigma 5-lobed, capitate to peltate. Fruits capsular, subglobose, dry. Seeds ca. 60-120, ellipsoid, oblong, or angular, flattened or wedge-shaped; testa smooth and shiny, reticulate, or papillose. x = 11.
Fls 5-merous; cal campanulate to saucer-shaped, persistent, the short lobes imbricate at base; cor tubular, constricted at the throat, the short, ovate lobes outcurved; stamens included, much shorter than the cor-tube; filaments flat, very narrowly triangular; anthers oblong, dorsifixed, spurless and virtually awnless, the pollen-sacs separate above and each opening by a terminal pore; ovary 5-locular; style about equaling the cor-tube; stigma capitate, 5-lobed; capsule depressed-globose, ±retuse, loculicidal; seeds flattened, angular, shining, reticulate; evergreen shrubs with alternate, commonly spinulose- serrulate lvs and dense axillary racemes of white fls, each pedicel 2-bracteolate at base, subtended and about equaled by an ovate bract. 40, N. Amer. and e. Asia.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.