A medium-sized tree with a broad-spreading, rounded crown and dark green foliage.
Leaves opposite, pinnately compound, up to 14 inches long, with 5–11 leaflets that are 4 1/2 inches long, elliptical, with an acute tip; upper surface dark green, lower surface lighter. When bruised, leaves smell something like turpentine.
Bark: With age, becomes uniquely ridged and corky.
Flowers May–June; in erect clusters of small yellow or yellowish-green flowers, male and female flowers on separate plants.
Fruits clusters of pea-sized fleshy, round berries, green but maturing to black in October, containing 5 seeds each, persisting into winter.