Description from Flora of China
Shrubs or small to medium-sized trees, erect or straggling, often climbing, evergreen or deciduous, often spinose. Leaves alternate, petiolate, distinctly triplinerved or rarely pinnately veined; stipules usually transformed into 1 or 2, erect or ± recurved spines. Flowers yellow-green, small, bisexual, in axillary corymblike cymes, or axillary or terminal thyrses. Calyx tube shallow, patelliform to hemispherical. Sepals ovate-triangular or triangular, adaxially ± distinctly keeled. Petals clawed, obovate or spatulate, rarely absent. Disk shallow, fleshy, 5-10-lobed. Ovary superior, globose, 2- or 3(or 4)-loculed; style ± deeply branched, 2(-4)-fid. Fruit a single-stoned, (1 or)2- or 3-loculed, globose or oblong drupe, base with persistent calyx tube, apex mucronulate; mesocarp fleshy or soft corky; endocarp cartilaginous or woody, locules 1-seeded. Seeds without endosperm or rarely with endosperm; cotyledon thickening.
About 100 species: mainly in tropical and subtropical areas of Asia and the Americas, a few species in Africa and temperate regions; 12 species (six endemic) in China.