Shrubs or small trees, forming dense thickets. Leaves 5-ranked, clustered toward branch tips; leaf scars with 3 bundle scars. Leaf blade: margins entire; surfaces densely pubescent, becoming ± glabrous. Inflorescences in flower before leaves appear, in axils of previous year's leaves; basal and apical bracts often sterile; staminate catkins compound, bracts 40-50, bracteoles absent; pistillate catkins simple, spikelike, bracts 10-15, each subtending 2 small bracteoles. Flowers subtended by bracts; bracts spirally arranged, deltate-ovate, apex acute, surface silky-pubescent abaxially. Staminate flowers: cymules 3-flowered, sessile; stamens clustered; pistils absent. Pistillate flowers solitary; perianth present; sepals small, scalelike; staminodes absent; ovary sessile, style linear, stigma deciduous, decurrent, abaxially grooved, groove facing bract. Drupes subtended by persistent bracts, bracteoles, and sepals. x = 16.