Grewia asiatica is a small deciduous tree or large straggling shrub, up to 4.5 m tall; bark rough, grey; branches long, slender, drooping, young ones densely coated with stellate hairs. Leaves are alternate, simple, deciduous, broadly cordate to ovate, rather variable, up to 20 x 16 cm, base oblique, apex acute to acuminate, margins coarsely toothed, pubescent above, densely tomentose beneath, 5 principle nerves palmate, petiole up to 1.5 cm long. Inflorescence in 3-5 flowered axillary cymes, clustered in groups of 2-8, 16-25 cm long. Receptacle 3 mm long, hairy in the upper half. Sepals 5, oblong, 1-5 cm, almost glabrous inside, 3-5-nerved. Petals 5, yellow, 6-7 mm long, equalling the androecium, with a raised gland 2 mm long, glabrous, with reticulate nervation. Fruit a globose drupe. 1.8-2.2 cm in diameter, indistinctly lobed, red or purple, finely warty and with stellate hairs; flesh, soft, fibrous, greenish-white stained with purplish-red, tasting pleasantly acid. Seeds 1-2, hemispherical, 5 mm wide. The genus was named after Nehemiah Grew (1641-1712), one of the founders of plant physiology.