Astonia scholaris is an evergreen, flowering, straight trunked, large potential tree with tiered branches from the top 2/3 of the trunk. Grows 6-20m tall with a 6-8m spread and a trunk diameter of 1-1.25m. Fast-growing at a rate of up to 2m p/a. It is a glabrous tree and grows up to 40 m (130 ft) tall. Its mature bark is grayish and its young branches are copiously marked with lenticels.
The upper side of the leaves is glossy, while the underside is greyish. Leaves occur in whorls of three to ten; petioles are 1–3 cm. The follicles are distinct and linear. Flowers bloom in the month of October. The flowers are very fragrant similar to the flower of Cestrum nocturnum Seeds of A. scholaris are oblong, with ciliated margins, and ends with tufts of hairs. The bark is almost odourless and very bitter, with abundant bitter and milky sap.