Large, and very long lived tropical tree native to wet regions. The leaves are alternate, elliptical, entire, and 10-20 cm long. The flowers are white, and are produced at the beginning of the rainy season. The fruit is a yellow berry, 3-5 cm in diameter. Fruits are edible and eaten fresh, the more common use of the tree is as a commercial timber.
The wood is very poisonous. This species yields a gutta-percha. The sap (balata) becomes solid and somewhat crumbling at ordinary temperature, it softens at 120.2F, and can be molded like gutta-percha.