Shrubs, deciduous, to 3(-4) m tall. Bark gray-brownish. Branchlets of current year gray-whitish or gray-brownish stellate-tomentose; branchlets of previous year dark purple-brownish to blackish, terete, glabrous, with dispersed, small, rounded lenticels. Winter buds naked, gray-whitish or gray-brownish stellate-tomentose. Leaves always opposite, not clustered at apices of branchlets; stipules absent; petiole green, slender, 1-4 cm, gray-whitish or gray-brownish stellate-pubescent; leaf blade greenish white when young, ovate-lanceolate or ovate-oblong, 7-15(-18) × 4-6 cm, papery, abaxially stellate-pubescent along veins, adaxially hairy on midvein, midvein raised abaxially, lateral veins 4-6-jugate, pinnate, arched, branched, anastomosing near margin, conspicuously raised abaxially, slightly impressed adaxially, veinlets transverse, conspicuous abaxially, inconspicuous adaxially, not lobed, base cuneate, rounded, or slightly cordate, without glands, margin often serrulate except at base, apex acuminate to narrowly caudate. Flowers appearing after leaves; inflorescence a compound umbel-like cyme, at apices of short branches with 1- or 2-jugate leaves, ca. 5 cm in diam.; rays whorled; first node of inflorescence with 4 or 5 rays, dense, reddish sparsely stellate-pubescent, without large sterile radiant flowers; peduncle purplish, 3-7(-8.5) cm; bracts persistent, leaflike, reddish, lanceolate to ovate, sparsely stellate-pubescent; bracteoles linear; flowers mostly on rays of 3rd or 4th order, not fragrant, shortly pedicellate. Calyx reddish; tube tubular, ca. 2 mm, glabrous; lobes subdeltoid to ovate, very small, 0.5-1 mm, glabrous, apex obtuse, slightly ciliate. Corolla purple-reddish outside, white inside, urceolate or tubular-campanulate, ca. 3 mm in diam., glabrous; tube 2-4 mm; lobes spreading or erect, broadly ovate, 1/5-1/4 as long as tube, apex rounded, margin papillose. Stamens obviously taller than corolla, inserted near base of corolla tube or sometimes below middle at slightly different levels, unequal in length, longest ca. 6 mm; filaments 3-4 mm; anthers yellow, elliptic-oblong, ca. 1.5 mm. Styles taller than calyx lobes; stigmas capitate. Fruit initially turning red, maturing black, ellipsoid, 6-8 × 5-6 mm, base rounded, apex rounded, glabrous; pyrenes compressed, ellipsoid, 4-5 × 3-4 mm, with 2 shallow dorsal grooves and 3 ventral grooves, base rounded, apex rounded. Fl. Jun-Jul, fr. Sep-Oct. 2n = 18*.