Medium to large evergreen trees up to nearly 40 m high.
The simple, stalked leaves are spirally arranged, and the adult ones are leathery.
Leaf buds are enclosed by leaf-like stipules that leave scars when they fall.
The broadly ovate blade, up to 20 cm long, is dark green above and has brown hairs underneath.
The terminal flowers appear after the leaves and are up to 30 cm across.
Buds are enclosed in a bract and the 6 to 12 tepals are white.
Many small stamens are inserted spirally on the long receptacle.
They are poorly differentiated with broad, flat filaments that merge with the anthers.
The anthers open towards the centre of the flower (introrse).
The many separate carpels are inserted spirally on the receptacle.
The elongated receptacle, with the stamens and carpels on it is also called an androgynophore.
The fruit, up to 10 cm long, is an aggregate of individual follicles derived from the carpels.
It is pink when young but become hard and brown.
The red seeds are attached by thin white strands derived from the vascular system.
There are over 50 cultivars of M. grandiflora with variations in the shape and size of the tree (including dwarf ones),
leaf size and shape, size of the flower and shade of the tepals, duration of flowering etc.