Single-stemmed small tree. Bark creamy-grey or pale greenish with blackish horizontal bands of rough lenticels; young branches purplish, spine-tipped. Leaves clustered on small lateral spine-tipped branchlets, usually simple (1-foliolate), obovate, up to 4.5 × 2.5 cm, bluish-green, hairless except for long glandular hairs near the base; margin scalloped; petiole very short to absent.
Flowers in small inconspicuous clusters on the spur-branchlets, yellowish, appearing just before or with the new leaves. Fruit ellipsoid, up to 1.3 cm long, pointed, hairless, reddish-brown when ripe, splitting to reveal a black seed with a 4-lobed yellow pseudo-aril, almost completely covering the seed.