Description from Flora of China
Trees deciduous, semievergreen or evergreen, monoecious or rarely dioecious. Branchlets with solid pith. Terminal buds oblong, naked. Leaves even-pinnate, rarely odd-pinnate; leaflets 2-14, margin entire or serrate. Inflorescences lateral or terminal on old or new growth: male and female spikes in androgynous panicles or separate; male spikes solitary or clustered, pendulous; female spike many flowered, erect or recurved in fruit. Flowers anemophilous. Male flowers with a 3-lobed bract; bracteoles 2, rarely absent; sepals 1-4, rarely absent; stamens 3-15, anthers glabrous or pubescent. Female flowers subtended by an enlarged, 3-lobed bract; bracteoles 2, united, reduced to a low rim or forming a conspicuous, anterior prophyll, adnate to base of ovary; sepals 4, adnate to ovary, free at apex; style absent or elongate; stigmas carinal or commissural, 2-lobed, with 2 or 4 plumose branches, or short and 4-lobed. Fruiting spike elongate, pendulous. Fruit a 3-winged nutlet, (2-)4-chambered at base. Germination epigeal.
About seven species: S and SE Asia, N India; four species (one endemic) in China.
The number of species of Engelhardia is open to question: more than ten have been recognized in SE Asia. The taxonomy of the genus suffers from a lack of good specimens from throughout its range.