Leaves 3–11 × 1.5–5 cm, narrowly oblong to elliptic-oblong, rounded and sometimes emarginate at the apex, rarely obtuse, obliquely rounded and cordulate to distinctly cordate at the base, entire on the margins; blades chartaceous to thinly coriaceous, sometimes minutely puberulous at the base of the midrib beneath at first, otherwise completely glabrous, usually dark green and glossy above, glaucous beneath; lateral nerves in 6–10 pairs, weakly brochidodromous, tertiary nerves reticulate.
Flowers borne in the axils of the scars of the previous season's fallen leaves, below the terminal flush; male fascicles many-flowered; female flowers solitary or paired, rarely ternate.
Stipules c. 1 mm long, lanceolate, acute, more or less glabrous without, puberulous within, soon falling.
Young shoots and petioles sparing to densely minutely puberulous.
Buds perulate (furnished with protective scales); perulae c. 3 mm long, suborbicular, smooth, ciliate, soon falling.
Seeds 0.8–1.4 × 0.6–1 × 0.3–0.7 cm, somewhat compressed-ellipsoid; sarcotesta drying pale brownish or yellowish-brown.
Fruit 1.3–1.5(2) × 0.75–1(1.5) cm, ellipsoid, shallowly 2-lobed and 2-celled, or not lobed and 1-celled by abortion, smooth, glabrous, green at first later becoming yellow to yellow-orange and somewhat fleshy.
Female flowers: pedicels c. 5 mm long, stouter than in the male, extending to up to 3.5 cm long in fruit; sepals resembling those of the male flowers, but slightly larger, green; disk 3.5–4 mm in diameter, annular, subentire; ovary c. 2 mm in diameter, 2-locular, ovoid-subglobose, glabrous, dark green; styles 2, united at the base, erect, persistent, 1.5 mm long, bifid, stigmas spreading, papillose.
Bark smooth and silver-grey at first, later darkening and cracking and flaking rectangularly at the base.
Male flowers: pedicels c. 4 mm long, minutely puberulous; sepals 4(5), somewhat unequal, 2.5–3 × 1–2 mm, usually ± ovate, rounded at the apex, fulvous- or ferrugineous-tomentellous at the apex without, glabrous within, pale lime-green; stamens 6–10, enclosed by the disk folds, 2.5–3 mm long, anthers 1.2 mm long; disk 2.5 mm across, more or less acetabuliform, plicate, with as many marginal folds as stamens, smooth, with no central projection, glabrous.
A deciduous shrub or tree up to 20 m high, sometimes more or less evergreen; branching at 3–5 m to form a dense broadly conical crown up to 10 m in diameter.