Dioecious, glabrous, strigose or tomentose climbing shrubs. Leaves entire or serrate,pinnate-veined. Flowers polygamous or dioecious, in axillary cymes, rarely solitary;sepals 5, imbricate, more or less connate at the base; petals 5, imbricate; stamens many, anthers dehiscing by slits; ovary many-celled, styles as many as ovary cells, divergent, elongated after flowering. Fruit baccate, containing raphides. Seeds numerous.
About 55 species from Sakhalin, estern Siberia, Japan, Korea, China, and the Himalaya to Malaysia; seven species in Taiwan.