Description from Flora of China
Maba J. R. Forster & G. Forster.
Trees or shrubs, deciduous or evergreen. Terminal buds absent. Branchlet tips sometimes forming a spine. Leaves alternate, occasionally minutely translucent dotted or with gland pits.
Flowers dioecious or polygamous. Male flowers in axillary cymes, usually on basal part of current year's branchlets, deciduous soon after anthesis; stamens 4 to numerous, often paired
and forming 2 whorls; ovary rudimentary. Female flowers usually solitary, axillary; staminodes 1--16 or absent; stigma often 2-cleft. Calyx usually 3--5(--7)-lobed, sometimes truncate.
Corolla urn-shaped, campanulate, or tubular, 3--5(--7)-lobed, deciduous. Berries fleshy to somewhat leathery, usually with an enlarged persistent calyx. Seeds 1--10(or more), often
About 485 species: pantropical and extending into temperate regions; 60 species in China, most abundant in SE and SW China, several incompletely known and of uncertain status.
The following key is primarily to fruiting material because the flowers of many Chinese species are not known.