Description from Flora of China
Shrubs or trees, evergreen. Leaves opposite, 1-foliolate [or digitately 3-foliolate]. Inflorescences axillary or basal to leaves, cymulose to thyrsiform [or reduced to solitary flowers]. Flowers bisexual. Sepals 4, distinct or basally connate. Petals 4, valvate in bud. Stamens 8, distinct, ones opposite sepals nearly as long as petals; filaments with indumentum toward base [or rarely glabrous], gradually tapering from ± broad base to subulate apex, becoming reflexed; anthers obtuse or obtusely mucronulate. Disk pulvinate. Gynoecium 4-loculed, ± completely syncarpous [or grading to subapocarpous]; ovules 2 per locule; stigma punctiform or capitellate. Fruit a ± completely syncarpous 4-loculed drupaceous berry [or grading to subapocarpous with 4 basally connate drupaceous berries]; exocarp ± fleshy or dry; mesocarp, if evident, spongy-crustaceous or ± woody; endocarp cartilaginous. Seeds ellipsoid to pyriform, dull to ± shiny; seed coat with thick [to thin] inner layer of dense black sclerenchyma surrounded by outer layer of compact parenchymatous tissue; endosperm copious; embryo straight or nearly so; cotyledons ovate to elliptic, flattened; hypocotyl superior.
About 48 species: S and SE Asia, Australia, SW Pacific islands; one species in China.
(Authors: Zhang Dianxiang (张奠湘); Thomas G. Hartley)