Shrubs 1–3(–5) m, branchlets strigose-sericeous, glabrate. Leaves: blade green abaxially, bright green adaxially, generally flat, ovate-elliptic to broadly lanceolate, obovate-elliptic, oblong, or suborbiculate, 2.5–12 × 1.1–7 cm, length 1.3–2.4 times width, margins flat to narrowly revolute, not undulate, smooth, apex rounded to obtuse, abaxial surface glabrous or sparsely strigose, hairs antrorsely appressed, adaxial surface glossy, glabrous; strongly reticulate-veined adaxially. Aments: staminate 7–20 cm; pistillate compact, internodes to 1 mm, unbranched, pendulous, 4–6 cm; pistillate bracts connate proximally into deep cup, at least at proximal nodes each subtending 3 flowers, triangular with acuminate-recurved apices, differing in size and shape from leaves, densely pilose to glabrate, ciliate. Berries 5–6 mm diam., glabrous or glabrate, not glaucous.
Phenology: Flowering Jan–Apr(–May).
Habitat: Rocky slopes, volcanic slopes, serpentine, chaparral, oak-pine, yellow pine, and mixed conifer-Arbutus woodlands.
Elevation: 100–2000(–2800) m.
Calif., Nev., Oreg., Wash.