A small tree, 17–26 ft. high, with a trunk 10 in. in diam., bark thick, dull red; branches slender, somewhat pendulous, greyish brown, young shoots bearing a dense whitish pubescence which becomes ferruginous towards the tips. Leaves distichous through twisting of the internodes, lanceolate or linear-lanceolate, apex acute, apiculate, sometimes cuspidate, base blunt to rounded, margin slightly revolute, 1–2 1/4 in. long, 3–7 lin. wide, green, glabrous and somewhat polished above, clothed beneath with a grey-white tomentum which is rufescent in the young leaf; midrib prominent beneath; veins 6–7 on each side, spreading, obscure. Male flowers in small few-flowered subsessile cymes about 1/4 in. long and densely ferruginously pubescent; pedicel 1 1/2–2 1/2 lin. long; perianth divided for three-quarters of its length or more, 1 1/2 lin. long; segments 3–4, ovate or elliptic, 3-nerved; female flowers generally in sessile simple 3-flowered cymes; pedicels slender, 3 1/2–4 lin. long, densely pubescent like the back of the perianth; segments 3–4, as long as the pedicel, narrowly oval or oval-oblong, 3-nerved and reticulately veined on the inner face. Ovary 1 lin. long; stigma equal to or exceeding the ovary in length. Sepals in fruit thinly membranous, oblong-elliptic, delicately veined, glabrescent, 5–8 lin. long. Fruit glabrous, somewhat antero-posteriorly compressed, apex obliquely acute, 4–4 1/2 lin. long, with a dorsal line and a well-marked ventral suture.
Eritrea various localities, Schweinfurth, 171, 172! 621, 622! 1189! 1190! 1671! 2157! Pappi, 183, 3750; Terracciano & Pappi, 224, 380, 645, 744, 1743.
in Malpighia, v. 332, tt. 24–25. —Schweinf. in Bull. Herb. Boiss. iv. App. ii. 117; Engl. in Engl. & Prantl, Pflanzenfam. Nachtr. zu ii.-iv. 119; Almagia in Ann. R. Istit. Bot. Roma, viii. 119; Fiori, Boschi e Piant. Legn. Eritrea, 112.