Shrubs or small trees, evergreen, to 10(-15) m tall. Bark gray-brownish. Branchlets of current year green or reddish, glabrous or sometimes sparsely yellow-brownish stellate-pubescent; branchlets of previous year gray or gray-brownish, terete, glabrous, with dispersed, small, raised lenticels. Winter buds ovoid-lanceolate, with 2-4 pairs of separate scales; scales glabrous. Leaves always opposite, not clustered at apices of branchlets; stipules absent; petiole green or reddish, robust, 1-2(-3) cm, glabrous or stellate-pubescent; leaf blade green when young, becoming intense green and lustrous adaxially, elliptic to oblong or oblong-obovate to obovate, sometimes suborbicular, 7-20 × (3-)4-9 cm, leathery, abaxially sometimes with sparse, dispersed dark red minute glands, both surfaces glabrous or sparsely stellate-pubescent on veins, midvein raised and conspicuous abaxially, lateral veins 4-9-jugate, pinnate, arched, branched, anastomosing near margin, conspicuously raised abaxially, slightly impressed adaxially, veinlets transverse, slightly raised abaxially, inconspicuous adaxially, not lobed, base broadly cuneate, rarely rounded, without glands, margin irregularly serrate except at base or subentire, apex shortly acute to obtusely acute and mucronate, sometimes obtuse or subrounded. Flowers appearing after leaves; inflorescence paniculate, pyramidal, terminal or at apices of short lateral branchlets with 1-jugate leaves, (3.5-)6-13.5 × (3-)4.5-6 cm; rays opposite, decussate; first node of inflorescence with 2 rays, lax, large, glabrous or stellate-pubescent, without large sterile radiant flowers; peduncles 4-10 cm; bracts caducous, leaflike, greenish, less than 1 cm × 2 mm, lanceolate to ovate, sparsely hairy; bracteoles scalelike. Flowers usually on rays of 2nd and 3rd orders, fragrant, sessile or shortly pedicellate. Calyx green; tube tubular-campanulate, 1.5-4 mm, glabrous; lobes broadly triangular, ca. 1 mm, glabrous, apex obtuse. Corolla white, later yellow-whitish, sometimes reddish, rotate, ca. 7 mm in diam., glabrous; tube ca. 2 mm; lobes reflexed, orbicular-ovate, 2-3 mm, apex rounded, margin entire. Stamens slightly exceeding corolla lobes, inserted at apex of corolla tube; filaments 2.5-3 mm; anthers yellow, oblong, nearly 2 mm. Styles not exceeding calyx lobes; stigmas capitate or slightly 3-lobed. Fruit initially turning red, maturing nigrescent, ovoid or ovoid-ellipsoid, ca. 8 × 5-6 mm, base rounded, apex rounded, glabrous; pyrenes compressed, ovoid or ovoid-ellipsoid, ca. 7 × 4 mm, with a deep ventral groove, apex rounded. Fl. Mar-May, fr. Jun-Sep. 2n = 40.