The masiratu is a large, tropical canopy tree belonging to an ancient family of flowering plants closely related to the magnolias (2). Indeed, the glossy, light green leaves are magnolia-like in appearance with a simple leaf shape and alternate arrangement on the stem (2) (3). Its primitive, off-white flowers are four to eight centimeters across, and contain a single carpel and numerous leaf-like stamens, some of which are sterile (staminodes) and covered with a bright-yellow, oily fluid (2) (3) (4). The fruit are kidney-shaped, about six to twelve centimetres long, and contain numerous red or orange seeds embedded in a spongy pulp (2). Upon ripening, the fruit opens like an oyster, exposing the seeds which dangle from short stalks (3).
- Height: up to 35 m (2)