Description from Flora of China
Shrubs or small trees without stinging hairs. Leaves alternate; stipules caducous, intrapetiolar, membranous, deeply 2-lobed; leaf blade papery, 3-veined, often tomentose abaxially, margin dentate or crenate-serrate; cystoliths punctiform. Glomerules axillary, in loose cymose panicles of unisexual flowers (plants monoecious or dioecious); bracts and bracteoles scarious. Male flowers: perianth lobes 5, valvate; stamens 5; rudimentary ovary small, ovoid, densely woolly. Female flowers: perianth minute or absent, 2-lobed, connate at base asymmetrically to shallow cupular pocket, adnate to base of ovary; staminodes absent. Ovary straight, stigma sessile, penicillate-capitate; ovule orthotropous. Achene trigonous-ovoid, with ± fleshy epicarp and bony endocarp. Seeds with little endosperm; cotyledons elliptic.
The stem fibers are used to make ropes and cloth.
About 15 species: tropical and subtropical Asia and Pacific Islands; two species in China.
(Authors: Chen Jiarui (陈家瑞 Chen Chia-jui); Ib Friis, C. Melanie Wilmot-Dear)