This low shrub, tall shrub or tree may grow 5 to 10 m tall. Its twisted trunk is covered in thin, smooth, greyish bark marked by vertical brown lines. It becomes rough with age. The alternate leaves are oval, elliptical or heart-shaped and finely toothed. They are hairy on both sides when young, and become a smooth green as they mature. They are rarely more than 8 cm long. The showy flowers are arranged in erect or slightly drooping clusters. Each flower has 5 green sepals and 5 elongated white petals. The fruit is a berry-like pome that ranges in colour from reddish to dark purple. The flower calyx remains at the tip of the fruit.