Thicket-forming, spreading shrub, attaining a height of 3–10 feet.
Leaves alternate, simple, 2 l/2" - 6" long, broadly egg- to heart-shaped; edges coarsely doubly toothed; soft-hairy below. Leaf blade with 5–8 veins on each side of the central vein.
Bark brown to gray-brown, fairly smooth, the outer, thin layer slightly grooved.
Flowers February–April. Male flowers in yellowish catkins; female flowers inconspicuous along stem.
Fruit matures July–August; a globe-shaped nut enclosed in a leafy covering.