It is a climbing herbaceous plant growing to 2-4 m tall, with twining stems. The leaves are spirally arranged, heart-shaped, up to 10 cm long and 8 cm broad, with a petiole up to 5 cm long. It is dioecious, with separate male and female plants. The flowers are individually inconspicuous, greenish-yellow, 3-6 mm diameter, with six petals; the male flowers produced in slender 5-10 cm racemes, the female flowers in shorter clusters. The fruit is a bright red berry, 1 cm diameter. Its fairly large tuber is, like the rest of the plant, poisonous.