Monoecious tree, to 30 m tall and 90 cm dbh, glabrous all over. Trunk weakly buttressed; younger trunks and branches bearing short, stout, branched spines; outer bark thin, hard, in +/- rectangular patches, easily peeling, with horizontal scars 6-20 cm long staggered on trunk; inner bark very granular; sap copious, milky, especially in branches. Leaves alternate, simple, somewhat coriaceous; stipules ca 1 mm long, triangular, subpersistent; petioles 2-5.5 cm long, with 2 stipitate glands near apex; blades oblong-elliptic to obovate, with a hooded acumen, obtuse at base, (9) 13-18 (27) cm long, 3-5 (8) cm wide, the margins revolute, irregularly and minutely toothed; juvenile leaves thinner, the teeth much longer and gland-tipped. Spikes solitary, terminal or in uppermost axils, bisexual, to 25 cm long; corolla and disk lacking; staminate flowers globular to pyriform, to 1.3 mm long, in groups of 7-14, inserted on axis above a minute bract, the bract bearing a pair of flattened glands ca 3 mm long, the flowers and glands violet-purple; calyx 4-lobed, ca 0.5 mm long, the pairs of lobes unequal; stamens 2, included; anthers extrorse; pollen orange, tacky; pistillate flowers 5-10, solitary at basal nodes, the bract as in staminate flowers but usually larger; calyx (2) 3-5-lobed, sometimes obscurely so; ovary orbicular; styles 3, simple, ca 2 mm long, united only at base, in part deciduous. Capsules ovoid, to 1 cm long, short-stipitate, with 6 longitudinal grooves, splitting into 3 segments; seeds 1 per segment, compressed-ovoid, ca 6 mm long, minutely warty, covered most of its length at maturity with a bright red, thin, pulpy layer. Croat 14998, Foster 1787.
Glabrous, monoecious tree, to 20 m tall; bark minutely, shallowly fissured. Leaves alternate, simple, membranaceous; stipules obsolete; petioles 2-4 cm long, with 2 stipitate glands at apex; blades elliptic to obovate, acuminate (the acumen sometimes cucullate), obtuse to rounded at base, 9-12 cm long, 3-5 cm wide, subentire to finely serrate. Spikes in clusters of 3-5 (rarely fewer), to 10 cm long, bisexual; flowers with corolla and disk lacking; staminate flowers in groups of 2 or 3 (5), the subtending bracts deltoid, to 3 mm long, bearing 2 large glands at base, the apical part caducous; calyx to ca 1 mm long, 2-lipped; stamens 2; pistillate flowers 8-15, solitary at basal nodes of spike, the basal bracts like staminate bracts but with smaller glands; calyx cupular, bilobed, the lobes unequal, free almost to base; ovary orbicular; styles 3, simple, caducous, to 2 mm long, connate for about half their length, the apical half uncinate. Capsules ovoid, to 8 mm long; seeds usually 3, flattened-ovoid, the outer seed coat red. Kenoyer 661. in Chiriqui.