Mountain sandalwood is a shrub or small tree 3 to 10 meters in height. Its greenish-blue leaves are ovate to elliptic, 2.5-8 cm long and 2-4.5 cm wide.
The upper leaf surface is shiny and the lower surface glaucous (covered with a powdery coat)and they are oppositely arranged along the twigs. The flowers are sweet smelling and usually clustered at the ends of the branches. The corolla (tube of fused petals) is green in the bud, turning brown or orange to salmon after opening. Each flower is between 4 to 8 mm long and contains both male and female reproductive parts. The ovary sits below the corolla and develops into a single seeded fleshy fruit. The mature fruits are black to purple and about 1 cm long.
(Wagner, W. L., Herbst, D. R., Sohmer, S. H. 1990. Manual of the Flowering Plants of Hawai`i)