Genus with over 100 evergreen or deciduous species of variable stature and growing habit. Some are short and shrubby, others more tree-like, tall and upright, reaching heights of 30m. Foliage is large and leathery, approximately 20cm long, 7cm wide and covered in hairs. This genus is termed dioecious and thus produces male and female flowers on individual plants. Flowers are small and yellow-green, arranged densely on loose unbranched stems called racemes and often have a strong and slightly unpleasant scent. Sometimes flowers take on a red colouration when mature. These lead onto spherical fruits measuring around 1cm across, which either hang singly or in paired, long bunches. The fruits are white initially and sourly acidic to taste, turning red with a sour taste, then finally black upon maturity with a sweet and sour taste.