Small tree up to 12 m, in savanna and dry forest, penetrating into the semideciduous forest on rocky sites. Twigs conspicuously peppered with white lenticels. Leaves simple, alternate, with short chanelled petiole; petiole with a distinct abscission line (where it breaks off when deciduous). Stipules minute, triangular, not persistent. Blade obovate, 8 - 15 cm long, finely serrate along the whole margin, shiny and glabrous both above and below; base cuneate, apex acute. Laterals about 7 - 9 pairs but difficult to count because of the numerous secondary laterals between the main laterals; finer venation finely scalariform between the secondary laterals. Flowers white to yellowish on short side shoots of less than 2 cm. Fruits one or a few separate carpels on a swollen receptacle, round, dark purple - black, about 1 cm Ø; persistent calyx reddish.