It is a medium sized shrub growing to 11 m (36 ft) tall. Its growth rate is medium to fast. The leaves are opposite and divided into three leaflets, each leaflet up to 10 cm (4 in) long and 5 cm (2 in) broad, with a serrated margin. The leaves are bright green in the spring, turning dark green in the summer. S. trifolia produces pendant white flowers in spring, which mature into bladder-like, teardrop-shaped fruits that contain several large black seeds.