Dioecious tree, to 15 (22) m tall, ca 45 cm dbh; stems and leaves glabrate. Leaves alternate, simple; stipules minute, caducous; petioles 2.5-5 cm long; blades ovate to elliptic, acuminate, obtuse to rounded at base, 8-18 cm long and 4-8.5 cm wide (larger on juveniles), the trichomes. tufted, stellate, branched from base in vein axils below, the glands 2-4 at base in vein axils and scattered on both surfaces, the margins entire or toothed, the teeth minute, remote, gland-tipped; venation pinnate, 3-veined at base. Spikes axillary, stellate-pubescent, the flowers apetalous, the staminate axes 5-15 (30) cm long, branched many times, the lateral branches 1-3 cm long, the pistillate spikes simple or branched few times near the base, 5-20 cm long; staminate flowers subsessile; calyx lobes 2-4, to 1.5 mm long; stamens 8; pistillate flowers on stout pedicels 1-1.5 mm long; ovary stellate-pubescent; styles 2, simple, 1-2 cm long. Capsules to 11 mm long and wide, bilocular, dark purplish-brown; seeds 2, tuberculate, red, ca 6 mm long and nearly as wide. Croat 4871, 5024.
Rare, in the forest; apparently more abundant elsewhere in Panama on the Atlantic slope. Seasonal behavior uncertain. Flowers mainly in April and May. The fruits mature mostly from April to June. In Puerto Rico it is reported to flower all year (Little & Wadsworth, 1964).
Mexico to Panama, introduced into southern Florida; Greater Antilles. In Panama, known from tropical moist forest in the Canal Zone and Bocas del Toro, from premontane wet forest in Panama (Cerro Campana) and Colon (Santa Rita Ridge), and from premontane rain forest in Panama (summit of Cerro Jefe).