Tree or shrub, up to 2(-5) m high, monopodial or sparsely branched. Stems and branches up to 5 cm in diam., terete, not winged; internodes 1.5-24 cm long. Leaves petiolate, crowded towards branch apices; petiole up to 4.8 cm long; blade chartaceous to slightly coriaceous, obovate to oblanceolate, (26-)43-62 x 8-19 cm, margin not or slightly revolute, apex acute to acuminate, base attenuate. Inflorescence up to 40-flowered; bracts and bracteoles triangular, 2-3 mm long; pedicel 8-18(-30) mm long. Flowers erect; calyx yellow, orange, or white, rarely with green apices, lobes elliptic to orbicular, 3-6 x 3-6 mm (5-6 x 4-6 mm in fruit), margin flat, not hyaline, apex obtuse; corolla yellow, white, or cream, tubular, lobes barely opening, 10-13 mm long, 4-6 mm wide at mouth, lobes narrowly elliptic, 3-5 x 1-2 mm, apex bluntly acute; stamens not extending beyond corolla lobes, filaments 2-3 mm long, straight, fused, anthers greenish-white to green, linear, 3-4 mm long, slightly bent sideways; pollen exine smooth, perforate; pistil 6-7 mm long, ovary ca. 4 x 2 mm, with a globose sterile apical part, style 2-3 mm long, stigma capitate, ca. 1 mm in diam.Fruit erect, green when immature or fresh (reddish-green), dark brown when dry, globose to slightly turbinate (sterile apical part less distinct and confluent with a less distinct thickened ring than in P. resinifera), 11-15 x 10-15 mm; seeds dark brown, ca. 4 x 2 mm.
Guianas present present, Southern America: Brazil North (Amapá present)
The Guianas, Brazil (Amapá); 91 collections studied, of which 65 from the Guianas (GU: 3; SU: 1; FG: 61).
This species had previously a much wider circumscription including all species in the genus (Leeuwenberg, 1980). In the revision by Struwe & Albert (2004),
Potalia resinifera was resurrected and 7 new species were recognized, some of which previously had been identified as P. amara. The closest relative might be P. turbinata Struwe & V.A. Albert from C America, which has the most similar flowers and fruits.