This large tree grows to 35 meters in height with a trunk diameter of up to one meter. The trunk generally divides into two or more large trunks splitting into many branches. The bark is an attractive patchwork of white, tawny beige, pinkish gray, and pale brown, with older bark becoming darker and peeling away. The large palmately lobed leaves may be up to 25 centimeters wide and have three or five pointed lobes. New leaves are a bright translucent green and very fuzzy. The deciduous tree drops copious amounts of dry golden to orangish red leaves in the fall. The inflorescence is made up of a few spherical flower heads each around a centimeter wide. The female flower heads develop into spherical fruit clusters each made up of many hairy, maroon-red-woolly achenes. The dangling seed balls are attractive on the tree.