Tree to 18 m tall, or rarely a mallee. Forming a lignotuber.
Bark rough on part or all of trunk, sometimes extending to the larger branches but not uncommonly on lower trunk only, tessellated, light brown to light grey or, where flakes have recently shed, reddish, pink or orange; bark of larger limbs may be rough or smooth; smooth bark whitish or cream.
Juvenile growth (coppice or field seedlings to 50 cm): stems rounded in cross-section, setose in early stages; juvenile leaves opposite and petiolate for many pairs, ovate to elliptical to lanceolate, 6–17 cm long, 1.2–4.5(5.2) cm wide, base tapering to petiole, apex rounded on lowest leaves, becoming acute higher up stem, margin subcrenulate on lowest leaves then entire, slightly discolorous, green to grey-green, usually glabrous, even lower leaves.
Adult leaves alternate, petiole 1–3 cm long; blade lanceolate, 8–20 cm long, 1.2–3 cm wide, base usually tapering to petiole, concolorous, slightly glossy or dull, pale green to yellowish green, strongly penniveined, very densely reticulate, intramarginal vein absent, oil glands few and island, or absent.
Inflorescences terminal panicles, peduncles 0.5–2 cm long; buds 7 per umbel, pedicels 0.2–1.3 cm long. Mature buds ovoid to pyriform, 0.6–1.4(1.7) cm long, 0.5–1(1.3) cm wide, greenish to brown or cream, scurfy, scar absent, operculum shallowly conical to rounded or flattened, stamens inflexed, anthers oblong, versatile, dorsifixed, dehiscing by longitudinal slits (non-confluent), style long, stigma slightly mop-like, locules usually 4, the ovules not arranged in distinct vertical rows on the placentae. Flowers white.
Fruit pedicellate (pedicels 0.2–1.2 cm wide), urceolate, (1.3)1.5–3.1 cm long, 1.2–2.2 cm wide, disc vertically descending, valves, usually 4, enclosed.
Seed light brown or reddish brown, ellipsoidal with terminal membraneous wing, 9–12 mm long (including wing), surface smooth, hilum subterminal.