Shrubs or small trees, evergreen, to 8(-15) m tall. Bark light brown. Branchlets of current year greenish, glabrous, or initially sparsely stellate-pubescent; branchlets of previous year gray-brownish, terete, glabrous, with sparse, small, rounded lenticels. Winter buds lanceolate-triangular, with a pair of separate scales; scales glabrous or stellate pubescent. Leaves always opposite, not clustered at apices of branchlets; stipules absent; petiole green, robust, 1-3.5(-5) cm, glabrous or stellate-pubescent; leaf blade green when young, elliptic to oblong or ovate-oblong, 8-16(-24) × 3-10 cm, leathery, abaxially usually glabrous, with dispersed reddish or yellow tiny glandular dots (sometimes compressed to appear like lepidote scales), adaxially glabrous, midvein raised abaxially, lateral veins 3-5(-8)-jugate, pinnate, arched, rarely branched, anastomosing near margin, or some ending in teeth, raised abaxially, slightly impressed adaxially, veinlets transverse, conspicuous abaxially, inconspicuous adaxially, not lobed, base gradually angustate to rounded, with 1 to several glands on both sides of midvein near base, margin entire or irregularly shallowly dentate, apex acuminate or acute. Flowers appearing after leaves; inflorescence a compound umbel-like cyme, terminal, 4-10(-18) cm in diam.; rays whorled; first node of inflorescence usually with 7 rays, lax, glabrous or stellate-pubescent, sometimes with tiny glands, without large sterile radiant flowers; peduncles 1-6 cm; bracts usually caducous, leaflike, whitish green, linear-lanceolate, ca. 3 × < 1 mm, glabrous; bracteoles scalelike. Flowers usually on rays of 3rd order, not fragrant, sessile or shortly pedicellate. Calyx greenish; tube ovoid-orbicular or obconical, ca. 1.5 mm, sometimes with tiny glandular dots; lobes very small and inconspicuous, glabrous, apex rounded. Corolla white or reddish, campanulate, 4-6 mm, with tiny lepidote glands; tube 3-5 mm; lobes erect, orbicular-ovate, ca. 1 mm, apex rounded, margin entire. Stamens longer than corolla, inserted near base of corolla; filaments 3-4 mm; anthers purple, oblong, 1-1.8 mm. Styles exceeding calyx lobes; stigmas capitate. Fruit initially turning red, maturing blue-black, ovoid, ca. 5 mm, base rounded, apex rounded, glabrous; pyrenes compressed ovoid, ca. 4 × 3.5-4 mm, with 2 shallow dorsal grooves and 1 shallow ventral groove, apex rounded. Fl. Jun-Jul, fr. Aug-Oct. 2n = 18.