Deer brush is a loosely branched, erect to spreading shrub with deciduous leaves which arises from 1-4 meters in height. The stems are greenish. The oblong to ovate leaves leaves alternate along the stems. They range from 1.5-6 cm in length and have entire margins. Three prominent veins are visible on the leaf surface, which ranges from smooth and hairless to especially loosely to densely hairy on the under surfaces.
The inflorescence consists of large panicles borne at the tips of the young branches. The panicles range from 5-12 cm in length. The small 5-petalled flowers are white or bluish and the seeds are found in dry capsules, each having 3 sections containing one seed apiece.
Deer brush may be found in forest openings and open areas.
Deer brush may be found from central Washington south along the east side of the Cascade Mts. to Baja California. It is found eastward to New Mexico.
In the Columbia River Gorge, it may be found between the elevations of 100'-2500' from Dog Mt. east to Rowena.