Erect shrub to 2 m, with stiffly divergent 4-angled twigs; lvs firm, on petioles 1-3 mm, lanceolate to elliptic or ovate, 3-7 cm, acute to acuminate, turning red or reddish in autumn, then deciduous; fls 5-merous, solitary or in cymes of 2-3 on axillary peduncles 1-3 cm, 10-12 mm wide, greenish-purple; pet narrowed to a very short claw; fr 3-5-lobed, 1.5 cm thick, crimson when ripe, strongly tuberculate; aril orange to scarlet; 2n=64. Moist woods; s. N.Y. to s. O. and se. Mo., s. to Fla. and Tex. May, June.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.
Found in a few of the southern counties where it grows in low, flat woods with sweet gum, beech, and pin oak, and rarely in dry ground with black and white oak. There is an ascending form of this species that has leaves intermediate between this and the next species but it grows with the species and has the typical fruit. This species has been reported for some of the northern counties but I think all reports from there should be referred to Euonymus obovatus.