The tree has a
relatively expanded top and may reach up to 20 m in height with a trunk that
can have a diameter of about 75 cm. The bark is grayish in colour, often
cracked from which a clear, sticky and turpentine-smelling liquid exudes. The
small branches are strong, smooth and have a pale colour.
The leaves are
grouped at the furthest extremities of the branches, are pinnately arranged
and are very rarely arranges in a unifoliar manner. The petiole is 2 to 7 cm
long, while the petiolules are 0.8 to 1.5 cm in length and may reach a maximum
of 2.5 cm.
lamina is dark green, shiny and usually changes to a bright red colour when
dying. The shape is more or less ellipsoidal or obovoid, measures 5 to 10 cm
by 2.5 to 6 cm and the leaf is quite tough. The leaf margin is entire with a
rather rounded tip and a cuneiform base.
Inflorescence is prominent, axillary, paniculate and grouped at the
extremities of the leaflets. It can be as long as 15 cm, with the flowers
arranged in dense cymoses. The flowers are numerous, bear pedicels that
measure around 2 mm in length and bear small triangular bracts. The sepals too
are triangular in shape and in the male flowers measure 0.5 mm while being
slightly longer in the female flowers. The sepals also possess trichomes on
their dorsal side.
The oblong petals are 1.5 to 2 cm by 0.6 to 1 mm and bear trichomes on the
dorsal surface as well. 10 stamens are present and measure between 1 to 1.5 mm
in the male flowers. The staminodia of the female on the other hand, are much
longer than those in the males. The stigma has 5 rather hemi-spherical lobes
with a sterile ovary in the male flowers.
fruit when mature resembles a capsule, but when young looks like a drupe. It
becomes reddish green with a rather tough mesocarp and measures 1.5 to 2 cm in
length. Usually 1 to 3 or a maximum of 4 asymmetrical or 5 symmetrical grains
are formed. These are globosely shaped. One peculiarity about the grains is
that these attract birds.