Plant is variable in size (2-6′ tall), depending on environmental conditions. The central stem branches occasionally all are a shiny light green.
The opposite leaves can be up to 6″ long and 1½” across, but usually about 3″ long and ½” across. They are narrowly lanceolate or oblong-lanceolate in shape, smooth margins, and smooth surface
Leaves clasp the stem and are medium to dark green
Flowers are atop the stems in pink umbels about 2-3½” across. Each flower is about ¼” across, consisting of 5 upright whitish hoods and 5 surrounding pink petals that droop downward. Fragrance resembles cinnamon. Bloom is usually in mid to late summer.
The seedpods are 3-4″ long and narrowly lanceoloid-ellipsoid in shape, light green and smooth, turning brown at maturity. Each seedpod splits open along one side to release its seeds. These seeds have large tufts of white hair and they are distributed by the wind during the fall.