A tree to 20 ft high with scaly, brown bark and a symmetrical crown of spreading or ascending branches; branchlets chestnut-brown, slightly hairy at first; spines to 2 in. long. Leaves broadly ovate, 3 to 4 in. long, rounded to broadly wedge-shaped at the base, rough to the touch above, glabrous beneath; margins coarsely toothed, with four to five pairs of pointed lobes. Flowers white, borne in loose corymbs on long, thin, slightly downy stalks; stamens usually ten, their anthers rose-coloured. Fruit bright scarlet, pear-shaped to oblong, 3⁄4 in. long, ripe in September. Native of eastern N. America. Its variety gloriosa Sarg., is one of the finest of all thorns as regards the size and colour of its fruits, which are larger and more lustrous than in the type. According to Sargent this variety is found wild near Rochester, New York, but is not common.
C. ellwangeriana Sarg. C. pedicellata var. ellwangeriana (Sarg.) Eggl. – This thorn bears much resemblance to the preceding, differing chiefly in its hairy or downy inflorescence and the downiness of the leaf-stalks and the undersides of the leaves. However, it also bears a close resemblance to C. submollis Sarg., and C. mollis Scheele, but both those species have yellow anthers and the young leaves beneath, the leaf-stalks and inflorescences are tomentose, while the latter is further distinguished by its twenty, not ten, stamens. E. J. Palmer treats it as a variety of C. pedicellata but suggests that it might in fact be a hybrid between that species and a species of the Molles series. This is one of the most ornamental of the American thorns, especially when in fruit. It was given an Award of Merit in 1922 and is figured in Bot. Mag., n.s., t. 105. The type-tree grew in the nursery of Ellwanger and Barry at Rochester, New York, but the species (if such it be) is of fairly wide distribution in north-eastern N. America.
Another ally of C. pedicellata is:
C. holmesiana Ashe – A tree to about 30 ft; branches usually ascending, making a conical crown. Leaves ovate to ovate-oblong, relatively narrower than in C. pedicellata. Inflorescence glabrous (hairy in var. villipes Ashe). Anthers pink or red, ten or fewer. Fruit pear-shaped to oblong, longer than wide. Native of eastern N. America. Introduced under its present name first in 1901, but probably in cultivation before as “C. coccinea”.