A dioecious shrub or tree, 6–40 ft. high
Female racemes resembling the males, but the bracts 1.5 mm long, lanceolate, 1–2-flowered.
Male flowers: pedicels 3–7 mm long, jointed, pubescent; buds subglobose, apiculate; sepals 2 mm long, elliptic, subacute, sparingly pubescent without, glabrous and gland-dotted within, strongly reflexed, pale yellow-green; disk absent; stamens 2 mm long, filaments greenish-white, anthers 0.3 mm, whitish; pistillode absent.
Female flowers: pedicels shorter than in the male flowers at first, but elongating in fruit; buds ovoid-ellipsoid; calyx lobes 3–5(6), 2 mm long, united at the base or for half their length, ovate or lanceolate, acute, pubescent and gland-dotted at the base without, glabrous within, recurved, green; ovary 1 mm in diameter, shallowly 3(4)-lobed to subglobose, densely pubescent and glandular; styles 1.5 mm long, ± free, plumose.
An open shrub or small tree up to 10 m tall, often sarmentose, dioecious.
Stipules 1 mm long, subulate, soon deciduous.
Leaves opposite, one of each pair long-petiolate; petiole up to 8 cm long in the longer of the pair, up to 2 cm long in the shorter, slightly pulvinate, pubescent; leaf blade not lobed or 3-lobed, up to 17 × 13 cm, broadly ovate to ovate-oblong or ovate-lanceolate, the two leaves of each opposite pair somewhat unequal, obtusely or subacutely acuminate at the apex, shallowly cordate to truncate or rounded-cuneate at the base, subentire and shallowly glandular-denticulate to repand-dentate or sinuate on the margin, membranous to chartaceous, usually 3-nerved from the base, sometimes 5-nerved, with up to 4 discoid glands on the upper surface near the base, sparingly yellow-pellucid-gland-dotted above, evenly so beneath, sparingly stellate-pubescent to almost glabrous on both surfaces, sometimes with an admixture of simple hairs along the midrib and main nerves beneath, and in the domatia, or with multicellular simple hairs, dark green above, paler beneath; lateral nerves in 4–7 pairs.
Flowers fragrant, with an odour of Convallaria.
Male racemes up to 11 cm long; axis sparingly to evenly pubescent, sparingly gland-dotted; bracts 0.5 mm long, triangular, 3–5-flowered.
Bark ± smooth to slightly roughened and flaky, whitish- or greenish-grey or brown.
Fruits 5–7 × 7–9 mm, deeply 3(4)-lobed, sparingly to evenly pubescent or puberulous and gland-dotted.
Young shoots fulvous-stellate-pubescent.
Seeds 3.5–4 × 3 mm, subglobose, smooth, shiny, greyish-olive-brown.