Large shrubs or trees up to 6 m tall; branchlets somewhat quadrangular, glabrous or nearly so, stems with only moderate tendency toward condensation of terminal internodes into aggregate nodes, these usually not enlarged, distal internodes on normal twigs not usually conspicuously shortened back of aggregate nodes.
Leaves usually opposite or occasionally ternate or in pseudowhorls, broadly elliptic to elliptic-ovate or obovate, up to at least 20 cm long and 10 cm wide (but usually smaller on herbarium specimens as the larger leaves well below the inflorescences are seldom collected), main lateral nerves 6-12 pairs, not conspicuous, tertiary and higher order venation usually obscure, apex usually obtuse, abruptly narrowed at base to slender petioles 1-4 cm long.
Flowers usually perfect, moderately fragrant, in semi-open cymes, becoming larger and very open in fruit, borne in upper axils and terminally, forming broad, rounded, many-flowered panicles, pedicels 5-15 mm long at anthesis, elongating in fruit, with tiny ovate bractlets at articulations in bud, these soon caducous; perianth whitish to greenish or bronze-colored, 7-8 mm long, tube 5-ribbed, usually sparsely tomentulose, weakly constricted above, limb expanded, funnelform to slightly campanulate, conspicuously plicate below centers of lobes, very shallowly lobed, lobes not or scarcely spreading, rounded or emarginate; stamens 6-12, usually ca. 8; filaments slightly connate at base, in 2 indistinct series, longer series subequal with perianth to slightly but definitely exserted, shorter series with anthers barely to clearly visible in perianth throat; anthers orbicular, occasionally sterile(?), with fertile ones in different flowers, but of same inflorescence; pistil usually shorter than perianth, but stigma may be rarely somewhat exserted, subcapitate, stigmatic surface somewhat oblique, spongy, papillate, papillae sometimes elongating into minute short hairs.
Anthocarps linear-fusiform, 2.5-3(-3.5) cm long, usually broadest at base and tapering to the narrowest point below lobes, apical portion mostly fertile, not gradually tapering to a rostrum, prominently 5-ribbed or 5-keeled, ribs very sticky and usually, but not always, glandular papillate, 1-3 secondary ribs in the furrows, each main rib terminating in a shoulder-like prominence below a lobe, the lobes in maturity forming a subapical, undulate, papillate ring, with a short cylindrical protuberance or collar arising to 1-2 mm from within the ring.