Description from Flora of China
Vines. Roots and stems with yellow wood. Petiole long, swollen at both ends; leaf blade ovate or oblong, not peltate, palmately 3-5-veined. Inflorescences often on older leafless stems, lax panicles. Male flowers: sepals 8-12, in 3 or 4 whorls, free, imbricate, outer 2-6 minute, slightly unequal, inner 6 conspicuously larger, subequal, fleshy, margins thin; petals absent; stamens 3 or 6, free, filament thickened, anthers small with pollen cells divaricate, dehiscing longitudinally and obliquely; pistillodes absent. Female flowers: sepals and petals as in male; staminodes 3 or 6, narrowly oblong to elliptic; carpels 3, erect, saccate, ovoid, style extremely short, subterminal. Drupes 1-3, orangish yellow, oblong-obovate to ellipsoidal, style scar subterminal; exocarp smooth; endocarp ± woody, abaxially protuberant, adaxially with a narrow longitudinal groove; condyle forming narrow groove adaxially. Seed subellipsoid; embryo horseshoe-shaped in transverse section, embedded in endosperm; cotyledons broad and extremely thin, foliaceous, much longer than radicle.
The other much more widespread species, Fibraurea tinctoria Loureiro, differs by having 6, not 3, stamens and thicker-walled endocarps. Both species yield a yellow dye.
Two (to five) species: India (Nicobar Islands) to S China and Philippines; one species in China.