Shrubs, deciduous, to 5 m tall. Bark dark grayish. Branchlets of current year grayish white stellate-tomentose; branchlets of previous year yellowish white, terete, glabrous, with dispersed, small, rounded lenticels. Winter buds naked, grayish white stellate-tomentose. Leaves always opposite, not clustered at apices of branchlets; stipules absent; petiole green, robust, 5-12 mm, grayish white stellate-tomentose; leaf blade greenish white when young, broadly ovate to elliptic or elliptic-obovate, (3-)4-6(-10) × 2-3 cm, papery, abaxially at first densely stellate pubescent but later only midvein and lateral veins hairy, adaxially sparsely stellate-pubescent or glabrous at first, later stellate-pubescent on midvein and lateral veins only, midvein raised abaxially, lateral veins 5- or 6-jugate, pinnate, arched, branched, anastomosing near margin, or some ending in teeth, raised abaxially, slightly impressed adaxially, veinlets transverse, slightly raised or inconspicuous abaxially, inconspicuous adaxially, not lobed, base obtuse or rounded, both sides often unequal, without glands, margin serrulate, apex acute, rarely slightly obtuse. Flowers appearing after leaves; inflorescence a compound umbel-like cyme, terminal, 4-5 cm in diam.; rays whorled; first node of inflorescence usually with 5 rays, dense, grayish white stellate-tomentose, without large sterile radiant flowers; peduncle to 2 cm or nearly absent; bracts caducous, leaflike, green, linear to linear-lanceolate, stellate-pubescent; bracteoles linear. Flowers mostly on rays of 2nd order, not fragrant, sessile. Calyx greenish; tube oblong-tubular, ca. 4 mm, glabrous or rarely sparsely stellate-pubescent; lobes triangular, small, 1-2 mm, glabrous or with few stellate ciliate hairs, apex obtuse. Corolla white, rotate, ca. 7 mm in diam., glabrous; tube 1-2 mm; lobes spreading, broadly ovate, 2.5-3 mm, nearly 2 × as long as tube, apex rounded, margin entire. Stamens slightly exceeding corolla lobes, inserted near base of corolla tube; filaments ca. 3 mm; anthers yellow, broadly ellipsoid, ca. 1 mm. Styles taller than calyx lobes; stigmas capitate. Fruit initially turning red, maturing black, ellipsoid to oblong, ca. 1 cm, base rounded, apex rounded, glabrous or sparsely stellate pubescent; pyrenes compressed, oblong, 9-10 × 4-5 mm, with 2 dorsal grooves and 3 ventral grooves, apex rounded. Fl. May-Jun, fr. Aug-Sep.