Trees to 6 m tall. One-year-old branchlets purplish red-black, glabrous; juvenile branchlets gray and brown downy. Buds purplish red, ovoid-conical, subglabrous. Petiole long; leaf blade ovate or ovate-elliptic, ca. 9 × 4 cm, abaxially light or slightly pale, at first brown silky, glabrescent except along veins, adaxially grass green, brown silky along midvein, base rounded, obtuse, or subcordate, rarely subauriculate, margin entire, apex acute or acuminate; lateral veins 16 or 17 on each side of midvein. Flowering precocious or coetaneous, rarely serotinous. Male catkin cylindric, 8(-9) cm; peduncle with 2 or 3 leaflets or leaflets deciduous; bracts ovate or broadly elliptic, pubescent. Male flower: adaxial and abaxial glands usually 2-cleft; stamens 5 or 6; filaments pubescent at base. Female catkin ca. 3 × 1 cm, pedunculate; bracts as in male catkin. Female flower: glands adaxial and abaxial, retuse or lobed at apex; ovary ovoid-conical, 3-4 mm, long stipitate; style nearly absent; stigma crownlike.