Description from Flora of China
Dittelasma J. D. Hooker.
Trees, rarely shrubs, monoecious. Leaves paripinnate, rarely simple, alternate, estipulate; leaflets entire, opposite or alternate. Thyrses large, many branched, terminal or fascicled at branchlet apices; bracts and bracteoles subulate, small. Flowers unisexual, actinomorphic or zygomorphic. Sepals 5 or sometimes 4, imbricate, outer 2 smaller. Petals 5, clawed, with 2 earlike scales at base or margin thickened adaxially, or 4 (S. sect. Dittelasma), without claw, with 1 large scale at base adaxially. Disk acetabuliform or semilunar, fleshy, sometimes lobed. Stamens (male flowers) 8, rarely more or fewer, exserted; filaments hairy below middle or at base. Ovary (female flowers) obovoid or turbinate, usually 3-lobed, 3-loculed; ovules 1 per locule, ascending; style terminal. Fruit parted into 3 schizocarps, usually 1 or 2 developed, developed schizocarps subglobose or obovoid, abaxially slightly flat, adaxially with 1 or 2 semilunar sterile schizocarps; schizocarps free when mature, broadly ellipsoid or subglobose; pericarp fleshy, containing abundant saponin, long sericeous at place bearing seed adaxially. Seeds black or pale brown, ellipsoid or subglobose; testa osseous, pseudotesta absent; hilum linear; embryo arched, cotyledons thick. 2n = 22, 30.
About 13 species: warm regions of Asia, Australia, and North and South America; four species (one endemic) in China.