Description from Flora of China
Shrubs or small trees, unarmed. Raphides absent. Leaves opposite, decussate, apparently without domatia; stipules persistent, interpetiolar, generally triangular with apices often twisted together at 180° in bud. Inflorescences axillary, glomerulate, several flowered, sessile, bracteate. Flowers sessile, apparently bisexual or reportedly at least sometimes unisexual, fragrant. Calyx limb 4- or 5-lobed. Corolla white, shortly funnelform to subrotate, inside pubescent in throat; lobes 4 or 5, convolute in bud. Stamens 4 or 5, inserted in corolla tube, included or partially exserted; filaments short or reduced; anthers dorsifixed, pubescent on base and outer surface, with connective apically prolonged and widened. Ovary 2-celled, ovules 6-10 in each cell on axile placentas; stigma 2-lobed with lobes oblong and pubescent, exserted. Fruit baccate, fleshy, ovoid or subglobose, at least sometimes black, with calyx limb persistent; seeds several, medium-sized, flattened, angular, with testa thickly fibrous striate, with hilum terminal and rather broad; endosperm fleshy; embryo small; cotyledons ovate, flat; radicle terete.
Robbrecht and Puff (Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 108: 126-127, table 8. 1986) described the flowers as unisexual, but the corresponding condition of the plants (e.g., dioecious, polygamo-dioecious) is not noted and the specimens and figures seen seem to have bisexual flowers. W. C. Chen (in FRPS 71(1): 386. 1999) did not mention unisexual flowers for this species, and the accompanying figure apparently shows bisexual flowers (p. 387, t. 102). He described the stipules as caducous, but this has not been seen on any specimens of Hyptianthera nor reported by other authors, and it contradicts the figure. He also described the ovules as pendulous from the top of the cell, but Robbrecht and Puff (loc. cit.: 86-91), in a detailed morphological survey focused on gynoecium characters, described them as borne on axile placentas.
One or a few species: China, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand, Vietnam; one species in China.
(Authors: Chen Tao (陈涛); Charlotte M. Taylor)