Shrub or small tree, 1-2.5 (4) m tall, glabrous; stems striate when dry. Leaves simple, alternate; petioles 1-8 cm long; blades variable, frequently oblong, also elliptic, narrowly elliptic, oval, oblong-ovate or oblong-obovate, usually abruptly long-acuminate at apex, attenuate to rounded at base, 6-25 cm long, 2-10 cm wide, usually with sparse, minute, apiculate teeth. Racemes terminal, 2-8 cm long, of 3-15 pedunculate umbels, usually with few umbels on rachis below terminal whorl of umbels; primary peduncle and rachis 4-7 cm long, bracteate at nodes, the floriferous peduncles 1-5 cm long, bracteate near middle, the bracts free, ovate, ca 0.5 mm long; pedicels 2-9 mm long; flowers 4-35 per umbel, greenish-white to greenish-purple, ca 4.7 mm diam at anthesis, usually drying black to purple; calyx +/- bowl-shaped, lobed, 1-1.8 mm long (mostly less than 1.5 mm), acute and cucullate at apex, spreading at anthesis, later reflexed, the lobes 5, deltoid to apiculate; petals narrowly ovate, 3-3.5 mm long; stamens 5, alternate with and as long as or slightly longer than petals, erect to spreading; anthers ca 0.7 mm long, the thecae directed upward at anthesis; styles 5-9, connate, ca 1 mm long, conical at base, free at apex and held tightly together at anthesis, later spreading, persistent in fruit. Berries globose, smooth, ca 6 mm long, drying slightly sulcate between seeds; seeds 5, shaped like orange segments, ca 4.3 mm long, tan, deeply grooved on one side along rounded outer margin. Croat 5409, 11427. Occasional, in somewhat disturbed areas at the edges of clearings or on shore; one individual known in the older forest. Flowers from April to August, mostly in July and August, rarely earlier or later. The fruits mature from May to September, mostly in July and August. Individuals may flower two or more times per season and can be found with both flowering and fruiting inflorescences. Mexico (Chiapas) to Panama. In Panama, known principally from tropical moist forest on the Atlantic slope of the Canal Zone, in adjacent parts of Colón, and in San Blas; known also from premontane wet forest in Colon (near Maria Chiquita).