Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon:
- Evergreen shrub, often thicket forming, 2-10 ft (0.6-3 m) tall, occasionally taller, round-topped. Leaves alternate, simple, ovate to elliptic, 4-7 cm long, margin finely serrate, glossy green, sticky above, pale green and velvety below with minute hairs at first but becoming smooth, 3 prominent veins from the base; emit a sickingly sweet odor in warm weather when chrushed. Flowers small, white, in dense 5-13 cm long clusters (panicles). Fruit 3-lobed, glandular, capsules, 3-4 mm, subglobose to triangular.
- Sun or partial shade. Has a single large taproot and a deep, spreading root system so it is drought resistant. Its root nodules are nitrogen fixing. Not a long-lived plant, thickets begin to decline after 15 years.
- Hardy to USDA Zone Native from British Columbia Saskatchewan south through much of the western U.S., as far east as South Dakota.
Sometimes separated into two varieties:
- C. v. var. hookeri - found on the west side of the Cascade Range from northern California to British Columbia. Underside of leaf is glabrous.
- C. v. var. velutinus - is more widespread, from British Columbia through California and Nevada east of the Cascades to South Dakota and Colorado.
- velutinus: velvey
- Oregon State Univ., Peavy Arboretum
- Silverton, Oregon: The Oregon Garden