These trees can reach up to 20 m in height. The trunk is unique, very slender and upright. The bark can be dark gray to nearly black. The leaves have a thick petiole, which can be as long as 9 mm. The lamina is 5 to 12 cm by 3 to 4 or sometimes 6 cm and is quite often oval or oblong, rather rounded at the tip. The upper leaf surface is dark green and shiny, while the lower surface is paler.
Both secondary veins and smaller veins are very distinct. The male flowers bear 5 to 15 flowers with a calyx reaching 5 to 6 mm in length. The corolla is 8 mm in diameter, has 4 or 5 lobes of 5 mm by 3.5 mm. The number of stamens varies between 10 and 12 and the anthers are didynamous, that is they are joined in pairs. The filaments are 1 mm long and the anthers are 5 mm approximately.
Female flowers are axillary, solitary or can occur in groups of 4 to 8. Both the calyx and the corolla resemble that of the male flowers, with the calyx being rather spherical and about 6 mm in diameter. The ovary is spherical and is found below a rather short style. The stigma is divided into 4 to 6 lobes.
The fruits are in the form of berries either dark green or black, measure 3 to 4 cm in length and are ellipsoidal.