It is a small deciduous or semi-evergreen tree reaching 8 metres (26 ft) to 10 metres (33 ft) tall with an open, irregular crown.
The slender leaves are hairless, straight and pointed at the apex (in some varieties wrinkled), 10 centimetres (3.9 in) to 20 centimetres (7.9 in) long and 2 centimetres (0.79 in) to 7 centimetres (2.8 in) wide. The yellow-green flowers are generally in clusters of three or four 2 centimetres (0.79 in) to 3 centimetres (1.2 in) diameter, with three long outer petals and three very small inner ones. Its pollen is shed as permanent tetrads.
The fruits vary in shape, heart-shaped, spherical, oblong or irregular. The size ranges from 7 centimetres (2.8 in) to 12 centimetres (4.7 in), depending on the cultivar. When ripe, the fruit is brown or yellowish, with red highlights and a varying degree of reticulation, depending again on the variety.
The flesh varies from juicy and very aromatic to hard with a repulsive taste. The flavour is sweet and pleasant, akin to the taste of 'traditional' custard