Shrubs, semievergreen, to 5 m tall. Bark brownish gray. Branchlets of current year whitish stellate-tomentose; branchlets of previous year brownish gray, terete, glabrous, with dispersed, small, rounded lenticels. Winter buds naked, whitish stellate-tomentose. Leaves always opposite, not clustered at apices of branchlets; stipules absent; petiole green, robust, 1-2(-4) cm, grayish white or whitish stellate-pubescent; leaf blade whitish green when young, lanceolate or lanceolate-oblong, rarely ovate-lanceolate, 9-13(-18) × 4-5(-7.5) cm, papery, abaxially grayish white stellate-pubescent, adaxially densely stellate-pubescent, midvein raised abaxially, lateral veins 7-9-jugate, pinnate, arched, branched, ending in teeth, raised abaxially, slightly impressed adaxially, veinlets transverse, slightly raised or inconspicuous abaxially, inconspicuous adaxially, not lobed, base rounded, frequently unequal, rarely cordate, without glands, margin serrulate, apex acute to shortly acuminate, rarely obtuse to rounded. Flowers appearing after leaves; inflorescence a compound umbel-like cyme, terminal, 9-12 cm in diam.; rays whorled; first node of inflorescence usually with 5 rays, dense, grayish white stellate-tomentose, without large sterile radiant flowers; peduncle 1-3 cm; bracts caducous, leaflike, green, linear-lanceolate, stellate-pubescent; bracteoles scalelike. Flowers on rays of 3rd order, not fragrant, subsessile or shortly pedicellate. Calyx greenish; tube tubular-campanulate, 2-3 mm, grayish white stellate-pubescent; lobes broadly triangular-ovate, very small, 0.5-1 mm, stellate-tomentose, apex obtuse, ciliate. Corolla white, rotate, ca. 7 mm in diam., outside sparsely stellate-hairy; tube 3-4 mm; lobes spreading, orbicular-ovate, 2-3 mm, equaling tube, apex rounded, margin entire. Stamens slightly exceeding corolla lobes, inserted near base of corolla tube; filaments ca. 6 mm; anthers yellow, broadly elliptic, ca. 1 mm. Styles slightly exceeding or subequaling calyx lobes; stigmas capitate. Fruit initially turning red, maturing black, oblong, ca. 9 × 7 mm, base rounded, apex rounded, glabrous or sparsely stellate-pubescent; pyrenes compressed, oblong, 6-8 × 5-6 mm, with 2 dorsal grooves and 3 ventral grooves, apex rounded. Fl. Apr-May, fr. Jul. 2n = 20*.