- Shrubs or small trees to 8m with slender branches, the tips of which droop gracefully.
- The leaves are narrowly egg-shaped to elliptic in outline with a very pronounced tip, dark green and very shiny.
- The flower clusters are borne at the base of the leaf-tip.
- The bisexual flowers are white to pale green, sometimes tinged orange.
- The fruit are spherical and cherry-like and ripen to white or bright red.
Unripened green fruit and flower clusters at the leaf tips of Phyllonoma ruscifoliaare.
Flower clusters are borne from the upper surface of dark-green shiny leaves.
This species can be distinguished from other members of the genus by the flower clusters being much-branched and borne on clearly visible stalks.