- Shrub or small tree, to 5 m.
- Woody, to 5 m. Tree-like with single trunk or shrub-like with multiple stems.
- Opposite, petiolate, palmately compound with 5 leaflets. Leaflets oblanceolate to obovate, acute to acuminate, toothed, glabrous to sparsely above and below. Petioles reddish, glabrous to somewhat pubescent.
- Terminal panicle to 25cm tall.
- Corolla red. Petals 4, unequal. Styles long protruding from corolla. Stamens included or slightly longer than corolla.
Lateral view of flower.
Frontal view of flower.
- Smooth, punctate, slightly longer than broad, to 5cm in diameter.
- April - June.
- Slopes, rich woods, streambanks, also cultivated.
- Native to southeastern U.S., found wild in southeastern Missouri and cultivated throughout the state.
- This is a striking plant and one of the first "trees" to bloom in spring. The plant is simple to identify in the field becasue of its red flowers and palmately divided leaves. It is toxic if eaten.
Photographs taken off Lee Rd 54, Lee County, AL., 3-23-05.