Deciduous tree or shrub, up to 30 feet tall (9 m); pinnate leaves, 3 leaflets.
A very tolerant and easily grown plant, it succeeds in almost any soil or situation so long as it is not water-logged. It grows well in heavy clay soils and in poor shallow limestone soils. Succeeds in cold exposed situations and tolerates industrial pollution.
The leaves are cholagogue and purgative. All parts of the plant, and especially the seed, are poisonous.