Usually a much-branched semi-scandent shrub, rarely a small tree. Leaves ovate-oblong to elliptic, produced on short lateral branchlets, giving the impression of compound leaves. Flowers in clusters on short axillary branchlets, small, yellowish, sexes separate on the same plant, flowering before or with the new leaves. The flowering shoots and pedicels are covered in short, velvety hairs. Fruit berry-like, blackish when ripe.