Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon:
- Broadleaf deciduous shrub, to 6-10 ft (1.8-3 m) tall with a greater spread, rounded, multistemmed, branches bend upward near ends; may form colonies via suckers; new growth bronze to reddish purple. Leaves alternate, simple, obovate to oblong-ovate, 5-12 cm long, about 1.5 cm or so wide, base wedge-shaped truncate, tip pointed, wavy margins above the middle, green above, green or whitish (wax) and nearly hairless below, 4-6 pairs of veins, turn yellow in fall. Flower are small, yellow, orange, to red, 4 strap-like petals, each 5-8 mm long, reddish near the lower end; blooms in winter or early spring prior to leaf emergence.
- Sun to part shade. Best in moist situations, can handle poorly drained soils.
- Hardy to USDA Zone 4 Native range from Missouri to Louisiana and Oklahoma.
- Several cultivars available at specialty nurseries; these include dwarf and weeping forms, purple flowered types, and some with red fall color.
- vernalis: of spring, a reference to its time of flowering
- Salem, Oregon: Bush Prairie Park, west of the rose gardens.