Male flowers: pedicels 2–5 mm. long, evenly to sparingly stellate-pubescent; sepals 5, oblong-lanceolate, 2–3 mm. long, 1 mm. wide, obtuse, sparingly stellate-pubescent to subglabrous without, glabrous within, puberulous at the apex, green; petals 5, elliptic, 3 mm. long, 1.5 mm. wide, obtuse or subacute, ± glabrous without, villous within and on the margins, cream-coloured; disc-glands 5, free, ± truncate; stamens 20, filaments 3 mm. long, glabrous, yellow-green, anthers 0.8 mm. long; receptacle pilose.
Female flowers: pedicels 1–2 mm. long, stouter than the ♂ pedicels, scarcely extending in fruit, densely whitish stellate-tomentose; sepals 5, lanceolate, 1.5 mm. long, 0.75 mm. wide, slightly accrescent in fruit, subacute, sparingly or evenly stellate-pubescent without, glabrous within, minutely puberulous at the apex, greenish; petals 0–5, linear, 1.5–2 mm. long, 0.3–0.5 mm. wide, subacute, ± glabrous without and within, villous on the margin; disc 5-lobed, the lobes rounded, pubescent; ovary globose, 2 mm. diameter, densely stellate-tomentose; styles 3, spreading-recurved, bipartite almost to the base, the lobes filiform, 3 mm. long.
Fruits subglobose, 0.9–1.4 cm. long, 0.9–1.1 cm. wide, crustaceous, breaking up irregularly, densely scurfily stellate-pubescent, buff-coloured.
Seeds ovoid, 6–9 mm. long, 4–8 mm. wide, buff-coloured, dull, ecarunculate.
Petiole 1.5–3(–5) cm. long, densely stellate-pubescent to quite glabrous; leaf-blade elliptic-ovate or elliptic, 4–15 cm. long, 2.5–8 cm. wide, obtusely acuminate, rounded at the base, with 2 stipitate cupular orange basal glands situated towards the adaxial surface, glandular crenate-serrate, chartaceous to subcoriaceous, penninerved, with 7–15 pairs of conspicuous whitish lateral nerves, slightly prominent above and beneath, evenly stellate-pubescent above when young, rapidly becoming almost or quite glabrous, densely so beneath when young, and either remaining so or else becoming ± glabrous, often drying blackish above.
Stipules linear or linear-lanceolate, 3–6 mm. long, glandular at the base, sparingly stellate-pubescent, readily deciduous.
Racemes terminal or subterminal, 5–18 cm. long, either mostly ♂ with a few ♀ flowers at the base or scattered amongst the ♂’s, or with the lower half or two-thirds ♀ and the upper half or third ♂; axis densely to sparingly stellate-pubescent; bracts linear-lanceolate, 3–5 mm. long, acute, evenly stellate-pubescent, readily deci-duous.
Older twigs dark brown, sparingly lenticellate.
Bark smooth, grey or with patches of grey and white.
A monoecious small tree up to 10 m. tall.
Young twigs densely to sparingly white or greyish stellate-pubescent, at length glabrescent, or almost or quite glabrous.
Bole clean, up to 30 cm in diameter.
A shrub, or tree up to 15 m tall, often several-stemmed and with a dense spreading crown, monoecious or dioecious.
Female flowers: pedicels 1–2 mm long, scarcely extending in fruit, stout, densely fulvous stellate-tomentose; sepals 5, 1.5–4 × 0.75–1 mm, slightly accrescent in fruit, lanceolate, otherwise as in male flowers; petals 0–5, 1–2 mm long, linear to filiform, villous on the margin, otherwise glabrous; disk shallowly 5-lobed, pubescent; ovary 2 mm in diameter, subglobose, densely stellate-tomentose; styles 3, 4 mm long, deeply 2-partite with filiform segments, subpersistent, brownish.
Male flowers: pedicels 3–5 mm long; sepals 5, 2–3 × 1–1.5 mm, oblong-lanceolate, sparingly stellate-pubescent without, glabrous within, puberulous at apex, green; petals 5, 2–3 × 1–1.5 mm, elliptic, glabrous without, villous within, creamy-yellow in colour; disk glands 5, free, truncate; stamens 15–20, filaments 3 mm long, glabrous, yellow-green, anthers 0.75 mm long; receptacle pilose.
Fruits 9–14 × 9–12 mm, trilobate-subglobose or obovoid, scurfily stellate-pubescent, yellowish to buff; endocarp thinly crustaceous, breaking up irregularly (frangent).Seeds 8 × 6 × 3.5 mm, compressed ovoid-trigonous, adaxially light brown, abaxially buff and brown-flecked or mottled, dull, ecarunculate.
Leaf blades 3–14 × 2–8.5 cm, elliptic-ovate, gradually acuminate at the apex, glandular crenate-serrate on the margins, the glands conoidal on the teeth, and discoid (when present) in the sinuses, cuneate to rounded or truncate at the base, chartaceous to thinly coriaceous, usually penninerved (palminerved in subsp. mossambicensis) with 7–17 pairs of usually conspicuous pale lateral slightly prominent nerves, densely or evenly, rarely sparingly, stellate-pubescent when young, glabrescent on upper surface and sometimes beneath, or remaining softly whitish stellate-pilose beneath, deep dull green to pale yellowish-green on upper surface, turning red prior to falling, often drying blackish (greenish-brown in subsp. mossambicensis).Racemes (3)6–20 cm long, terminal on the main axis or terminating lateral shoots, male, female or androgynous; axes usually densely stellate-pubescent; bracts 3–5 mm long, linear-lanceolate, evenly stellate-pubescent to subglabrous, the male bracts several-flowered, the androgynous bracts few-flowered, the female bracts 1-flowered, soon falling.
Stipules 6–7 mm long, linear to linear-lanceolate, sparingly pubescent, soon falling.
Petioles 1.5–6 cm long, with 2 stipitate or± sessile orange discoid glands at the apex.
Twigs grey-green pubescent with dark grey to blackish stellate hairs.