A small tree reaching about 20′ at maturity. Crown is irregularly rounded.
Leaves: are opposite, simple, deciduous, oval, somewhat leathery about 4-8″ in length and about half as wide. Dark green above and paler below turning yellow in the fall.
Flowers: are white and fragrant and hang in loose clusters 4-8″ in length, four lobed white petals about 1″ wide, usually in mid March – June.
Fruit: usually clustered, dark blue drupes about 1″ long containing 1-3 oval seeds 1/3″ in length, ripening in late summer (on females).
Twigs: green early but tan or light brown later with prominent lenticles, leaf scars are raised. Buds are scaly, the terminal bud is somewhat round, chestnut colored with overlapping scales.
Bark: often multi-trunked with white bands, smooth when young but pale gray with small ridges and furrows as tree matures.