An evergreen shrub or small tree attaining a height of 15 - 30 ft. under cultural conditions in India it is kept pruned down to a height or 4 - 5ft. It has a main stem or trunk with lateral other or in whorls around the stem. The leaves are also opposite, thin, coriaceous and bringh green in colour. The flowers are white, fragrant and are borne in clusters in the axils of the leaves. The fruits are small, fleshy drupes. Bright green when young, changing to yellow and later to scarlet red with ripening. The fleshy mucilaginous pulp of the drupe encloses two oval greeninsh grey seeds or beans, each covered by a thin membrane, the silver skin, and both enclosed in a common husk-like membane or parchment.