The shrub grows from 4 to 5 feet high; the bark is smooth and greyish; the flowers are thick, small, and reddish-purple in colour, springing from rather thick, separate stalks about 1/4 inch long. The leaves are large, compound, pinnate with an odd terminal leaflet, with two to four pairs of leaflets. They are chiefly exported from Ceara and Pernambuco, and only the leaflets are officinal, though they arrive mixed with petioles and small fruits. The colour is brownish-green, the margin entire, with a notch cut out at the blunt tip of the leaf, which except in the case of the terminal leaflet, is unequal at the base. They are hairless, leathery, with large oil-glands, from 2 1/2 to 4 inches long, and when crushed have a slightly aromatic odour. The taste is bitter and aromatic, becoming pungent. The powder is dark green or greenish brown.