Trees, 4-6 m tall, producing distinctive juveniles but these not flowering precociously; stems of juveniles 0.7-1.2 cm diam., unbranched, armed with numerous prickles consisting of a sharp trichome atop a bulbous multicellular base; stems of adults 1.6-2 cm diam. below the leaves and inflorescences, 4-21 cm diam. at base, branching about 1 m above ground, the 4, to 11 branches diverging from trunk at a 45°-60° angle, ascending, sometimes branching sparingly once again, armed with stout conic prickles below, becoming smooth toward apex, sometimes producing short shoots with juvenile foliage; latex white.
Juveniles with blade elliptic or oblanceolate, 13-27 cm long, 7-17 cm wide across the segments, 0.2-0.4 cm wide between the segments; upper surface dark green and glabrous; lower surface light green, glabrous, armed with prickles consisting of a sharp trichome atop a bulbous multicellular base; margin pinnately divided, becoming pinnately compound at base, the segments oblong or elliptic, 1-9 X 0.7-2.8 cm, 8 to 10 per side, separated by sinuses, their margin pinnately lobed, cleft, parted, or divided (these secondary segments oblong or narrowly triangular, 2-18 X 2-10 mm, the apex obtuse); apex obtuse; petiole 3-4 cm long, 0.2-0.3 mm diam., 1/7-1/3 as long as the blade, armed with prickles consisting of a sharp trichome atop a bulbous multicellular base. Adults with blade elliptic or oblanceolate, 31-53 cm long, 10-20 cm wide across the segments, 0.5-4.7 cm wide between the segments; upper surface dark green and glabrous; lower surface light green and pubescent on veins with short stiff curved hairs; margin pinnately parted or divided, becoming pinnately compound at base, the segments oblong or elliptic, 1.5-12.5 x 0.5-4 cm, 10 to 14 per side, separated by sinuses, their margin pinnately cleft or parted (these secondary segments deltate or triangular, 2-22 x 2-18 mm, the apex acute or acuminate); apex acute or acuminate; petiole 4.5-6.5 cm long, 3.5-9 mm diam., 1/10-1/8 as long as the blade, minutely pubescent.
Racemes 6- to 10-flowered, arising below the apical rosette of leaves, the flowers all blooming ± simultaneously; peduncle and rachis horizontal, 35-54 mm long, 4-9 mm diam., glabrous; bracts narrowly oblong, 10-13 x 1.5-1.6 mm, subtending the pedicels, sometimes a few empty ones on the peduncle, deciduous, rounded at apex; pedicels ascending, 9-14 mm long, 0.8-1 mm diam., medially or subapically bibracteolate, glabrous; bracteoles narrowly oblong, 4-5 x 0.8-1.2 mm. Hypanthium obconic, 10-12 mm long, 5-9 mm diam., 1/5-1/3 as long as the corolla, glabrous, attenuate at base; calyx lobes narrowly oblong, 13-19 x 2.6-5 mm, abutting at base but distinct, erect, glabrous, the margin entire, rounded and apiculate at apex; corolla white, 38-47 mm long, glabrous; corolla tube arcuate, laterally compressed, 23-28 mm long, 5-6 mm tall at base, narrowing gradually to 3-4 mm tall at mouth, cleft dorsally for ca. half its length; dorsal corolla lobes spreading, 16-19 x 1 mm, ca. 2/3 as long as tube; ventral corolla lobes deflexed, 13-15 x 1 mm; filament tube 32-40 mm long, 1.3-1.5 mm diam., pubescent with long white hairs, free from the corolla; anther tube gently decurved, 2.3-2.7 mm diam., densely pubescent at base and on the connectives; dorsal anthers 11-12 mm long, ca. 1/3 as long as the filament tube; ventral anthers 7.5-8.5 mm long, their apex crowned by a triangular scale 3-4.5 mm long, formed from loosely concrescent white trichomes.
Berries bright orange, ellipsoid, 17-21 mm long, 10-15 mm diam., crowned by the persistent calyx lobes.
Seeds brown, broadly ellipsoid, 0.7 mm long, 0.5 mm diam., the testa Type C of Murata (1992, 1995), smooth, shiny.