Erect or arching shrub, or liana to 8 m long. Stems obtusely 3-5-angled, glabrous or pubescent, glabrescent, usually producing scarce milky latex; cross section with a single vascular cylinder; older stems trigonous, with 3 corky wings, reaching 2.5 cm in diameter. Stipules oblong, concave, reflexed, persistent, 2-4.5(7) cm long. Leaves pinnately 5-foliolate; petiole and rachis broadly winged, petioles 9-28.5 cm long, rachis 5-8 cm long; petiolules 3-8 mm long; leaflets coriaceous or subcoriaceous, both surfaces glabrous with puberulent midvein, elliptical, oblong, or oblanceolate, 12-26 × 5.5-15 cm, the apex acuminate, the base attenuate or acute on distal leaflet, acute to rounded on lateral ones, the margins glandular dentate; venation prominent on abaxial surface, tertiary veins subclathrate. Thyrses axillary, racemiform, solitary, densely flowered; axis pubescent to tomentose; bracts overlapping, oblong, concave, pubescent, 7-10 mm long, bracteoles ovate, pubescent, 1-1.5 mm long; cincinni sessile, 7-8-flowered, with persistent pedicel bases (2.5-7 mm long). Calyx light green, tomentose, with 5concave sepals, outer sepals rounded, ca. 3 mm long, inner sepals oblong-circular, ca. 5 mm long; petals white or cream, ovate to obovate, ca. 6.5 mm long; appendages hood-shaped, slightly shorter than the petals, with fleshy, yellow crest, and wooly margins; disc of 2oblong, glabrous lobes; filaments densely appressed-pubescent. Capsule pyriform to club-shaped, unwinged, red or maroon, woody, glabrous or pubescent, 2.5-3.5 cm long, short-stipitate; mesocarp ca. 2 mm thick; endocarp papery, glabrous. Seed 2-3 per fruit, ca.15 mm long, oblong, completely sarcotestal, except along a blackish ventral slit.
Guyana present, Neotropics present, Southern America: Costa Rica (Costa Rica present), Suriname present, south to Bolivia present
Naturally occurring throughout the Neotropics from Costa Ricasouth to Bolivia, including Guyana and Suriname (GU: 1; SU: 2).