Sparsely tufted with persistent leafy, decumbent shoots and erect flowering stems 25-60cm high, sometimes more in rich soil. Leaves elliptic to oblong or ovate, 5-15cm long, smooth. Flowers about 1.7cm across, bright to matt purple, pink, rarely white, in clusters of fifteen to thirty, late spring to summer. Mainly from Pennsylvania to northern Georgia but also in Indiana and Ohio, in thin forest, grassland and more rarely on open stony slopes in damp, more or less acid humus-rich soils. For P. ovata var. elatior, see P. carolina.
Locklear (2012) gives P.latifolia as another synonym.