Description from Flora of China
Shrubs or small trees, often glabrous; branches terete or 4-sided, many-branched. Leaves petiolate or sessile; leaf blade usually leathery, pinnately veined, margin entire. Inflorescences axillary or inserted on leafless stems, cymose or umbellate. Flowers 4-merous. Hypanthium cup-shaped, campanulate, subfunnel-shaped, or semiorbicular, apex repand or shallowly 4-lobed. Petals orbicular, oblong, or ovate, often oblique. Stamens 8, equal, isomorphic; filaments as long as anthers; anthers elliptic, small, longitudinally dehiscent; connective conic, inflated, lengthened, 2-3 × as large as anthers, sometimes abaxially with a circular concave gland. Ovary inferior, subglobose, 1-celled, apex truncate, 8-sulcate, radiated; ovule 6-12, with free central placentation. Fruit a baccate drupe, often globular, apex with hypanthium forming a ring; exocarp usually succulent, 1-seeded. Seed globular, glabrous; seed coat bony; cotyledon crumpled; embryo curved.
Material usually cannot be reliably identified unless flowers and fruits are both available.
About 300 species: tropical Africa, Asia, Australia, Madagascar, and Pacific islands; 11 species (six endemic) in China.