The jabillo is a large tree: it can reach more than 40 m in height and often grows along riverbanks.
It is recognized by a stinger-covered trunk. The white sap is very irritating and toxic, so it is used as a fishing lure. Its fruits, which resemble little gourds, are unique in that when dried and then moistened, they burst violently and noisily, releasing the seeds; this is an intriguing process of dispersion. The name crepitans is derived from crepitar (to produce dry noises) and refers to this property of the fruits. The segments or parts resulting from the explosion of the fruits are used in handicrafts. The unripe fruits are eaten by parrots and macaws.