This species in its natural state is of low growth, seldom exceeding four feet, and is of the evergreen variety; but with proper or careful management in its culture it attains the height of a moderately tall shrub or small tree.
In its native soil this tree produces abundant flowers, which continue to bloom for three months or longer, at a time, too (April and May), when very few trees or shrubs are in bloom, forming one of the grandest floral ornaments of the shrubbery. Its leaflets, from five to seven in number, are of an oval-obovate form, and vel-vety-canescent beneath, supported on long, slender petioles, gracefully disposed. Combined with the feathery lightness of the racemes of its flowers, they give the plant a showy and elegant appearance. This shrub is indigenous to the southeastern parts of the United States, where it is usually found growing on the banks of streams or rivulets. It may be propagated either from layers or seed. When its nuts are used in the raising they should be sown immediately after gathering. A small fruit is produced by this plant which may be eaten either boiled or roasted, like the chestnut of Europe.