Leaf: Alternate, simple, obovate to elliptical, 2 to 4 inches long, pinnately-veined, finely serrated wavy margin, dark green above, paler and finely hairy beneath.
Flower: Species is monoecious; both males and females preformed; males green brown catkins, 1 to 1 1/2 inches; female 1/2 inch long, reddish, opening in early spring.
Fruit: Woody, cone like catkin, 1/2 inch long, dark brown with each scale enclosing a tiny, winged seed. Fruit ripens in fall and is very persistant.
Twig: Reddish brown with gray fuzz, 3-angled pith; buds are stalked, plump, covered in 2 to 3 red-purple scales, resemble a match head.
Bark: Thin, gray to brown and smooth, trunk fluted.
Form: A multi-stemmed small tree or large shrub with several twisted stems reaching up to 15 feet tall.
Leaf: Opposite, simple, oval, 2 to 4 inches long, arcuately veined, margin entire, green above and maybe silky grayish when young, paler below.
Flower: Species is monoecious; small, white, in flat-topped clusters, 2 inches in diameter that appear in late spring and early summer.
Fruit: Berry-like drupes developing in flat-topped clusters, 1/4 inch in diameter, bluish with white blotches, maturing in late summer.
Twig: Red-purple (may be green-tinged), bearing silky gray hairs with a salmon colored pith, buds are narrow, pointed, hairy, sessile, and close to the stem.
Bark: At first red-purple (but may be green tinged); later turns brown and shallowly fissured.
Form: A small to medium sized, multi-stemmed, suckering shrub up to 10 feet tall. Branches may bend down and root in wet soil.
Leaf: Alternate, simple, evergreen, elliptical, 2 to 5 inches long, entire margin, pointed tip, mid-vein raised on upper surfaces, shiny/waxy green above, yellow green below.
Flower: Species is monoecious; very showy clusters (3 to 6 inches across), white to rose colored with purple markings, each flower 1 inch across, with the petals forming a distinct firm bowl around the pistil and stamens, appear in late spring and early summer.
Fruit: A round, brown dehiscent capsule, 1/4 inch long, splitting into 5 valves when dry, occur in open clusters; releasing very small seeds when mature in the fall.
Twig: Generally forked and twisted, green or red when young, later brownish red, leaves cluster at branch tips.
Bark: Thin, dark brown to red in color, shredding and splitting on old stems.
Form: A small tree or shrub with many twisted stems reaching up to 10 feet tall in mountains (occasionally 25 feet on Piedmont of southeastern U.S.)
Leaf: Alternate, simple, elliptical to lanceolate, 4 to 7 inches long, very finely serrate to ciliate, very slight pubescence on the mid-vein below, green above and paler below. A sour taste is obvious when the leaf is chewed
Flower: Species is monoecious; white, 1/4 inch long, urn-shaped, borne on drooping panicles, reminiscent of lily-of-the-valley flowers, appear in mid-summer.
Fruit: Dehiscent, 5-valved capsules borne on panicles. Capsules are dry when mature in fall and release the very tiny, 2-winged seeds.
Twig: Olive green, changing to red, with buds that are small, round and oppressed (almost absent); leaf scars are elevated with one bundle scar.
Bark: Grayish brown, very thick with deep furrows and scaly ridges; often the ridges are broken into recognizable rectangles.
Form: A small tree maybe up to 60 feet tall, usually with poor form with crooked branches and an irregular crown.
Leaf: Alternate, simple, obovate, 2 to 5 inches long (somewhat bell-shaped), 5 to 9 bristle tipped lobes with shallow sinuses, dark green above, much lighter and thickly pubescent below.
Flower: Species is monoecious; male flowers borne on 2 to 4 inch long pale reddish green catkins; reddish females borne on very short axillary spikes, appears with the leaves in mid-spring.
Fruit: Dark brown striated acorn, 1/3 to 1/2 inch long; saucer-shaped cap covers 1/3 of the nut, cap scales are tightly appressed, matures in the fall after two growing seasons.
Twig: Quite slender, with obvious tan pubescence; relatively small, reddish brown terminal buds are clustered, broadly conical, lateral buds are typically as large as the terminal bud.
Bark: Smooth, gray-brown with a few raised lenticels.
Form: A thicket-forming straggling shrub or small tree reaching up to 25 feet tall.
Leaf: Alternate, simple, elliptical and borne on a short petiole, 1 to 2 inches long, very finely serrated or ciliated margins (nearly entire), dull green above, pale almost white beneath.
Flower: Species is monoecious; showy but small, white and bell-shaped, occur in tight, hanging clusters in mid-spring.
Fruit: Small, blue-black berry usually with white bloom, containing many small seeds. Fruits are sweet and edible when mature in mid summer.
Twig: Slender, zigzag, green (some red), very finely gray fuzzy when new, with a continuous small pith; leaf scars are small with one bundle trace; buds are red and very small, and the end bud is lacking.
Bark: Smooth, green to green-red, usually remains green to the ground.
Form: Stoloniferous small shrub reaching up to two to three feet tall.
Table Mountain pine
Leaf: Evergreen needles, 1 1/2 to 3 1/2 inches long, with 2 twisted, yellow-green, stout needles per fascicle.
Flower: Species is monoecious; males long, cylindrical, purple to yellow, clustered near branch tips; females green to light purple, often in clusters.
Fruit: Cones are ovoid, three inches long and very stout, dark red-brown and the umbo is armed with a large, thick, curved spine, sessile and persistent, often in whorls; maturing in the fall.
Twig: Moderately stout and tough, orange-brown in color; buds are narrowly ovoid, light brown and often resinous.
Bark: Scaly, dark red-brown or gray in color, eventually developing irregular plates with very scaly surfaces.
Form: A small to medium sized tree up to 65 feet tall with an irregular crown that supports several large, heavy branches, often with numerous, persistent, closed cones.
Leaf: Alternate, palmately compound, 3 to 5 inches long and wide, 3 to 5 leaflets with serrated margins, small prickles on petiole, light green above, and much paler (nearly white) below.
Flower: Species is monoecious; not showy, 5 small greenish white petals, appearing in late spring.
Fruit: Juicy, black, multiple of drupes, 1/2 inch across, ripen in mid summer. When picked they separate from the fleshy core forming a hollow shell.
Twig: Arching "canes" which generally live 2 years. Purplish-red with an abundance of white glaucous bloom and hooked prickles. Canes readily root at the tips when they contact the ground.
Bark: Similar to canes but darker and not glaucous.
Form: Arching canes may reach 3 to 5 feet high, often forming dense tangled thickets.
Leaf: Alternate, simple, pinnately veined, ovate to elliptical, deciduous, 1 to 3 inches long, dull green above, short hairs below.
Flower: Beautiful, bright orange to almost red, appearing with or just before leaves, appearing late spring to early summer.
Fruit: An oblong woody capsule, 1/3 to 1/2 inch long, splits when mature in late summer.
Twig: Slender, reddish brown, very hairy, single bundle scar, buds occur in clusters at ends of twigs; flower buds are much larger (1/2 long).
Bark: Gray-brown and thin, may become finely shreddy.
Form: Tall shrub that may reach 15 feet tall. Twigs often appear in whorls from central stem.