Description from Flora of China
Gatnaia Gagnepain; Pierardia Roxburgh ex Jack.
Trees or shrubs, dioecious; indumentum of simple hairs. Leaves alternate, usually clustered apically; stipules caducous; leaf blade simple, margin entire or crenate-serrate, venation pinnate. Inflorescences axillary, often cauliflorous, compound spikelike or racemelike panicles, pendent, many flowered. Male flowers: sepals 4-8, usually unequal, imbricate; petals absent; disk absent or obscurely glandular and between stamens (sometimes interpreted as staminodes); stamens 4-8, as long as or longer than sepals; filaments free; anthers 2-locular, introrse or extrorse, longitudinally dehiscent; pistillode usually enlarged at apex, depressed and bifid, usually pubescent. Female flowers: sepals 4-8, larger than male, pubescent on both surfaces; petals absent; disk absent; ovary shorter than sepals, 2- or 3(-5)-locular; ovules 2 per locule; styles 2-5, very short. Fruit a berry or tardily loculicidally dehiscent fleshy capsule, ovoid, fusiform, or globose. Seeds enclosed by fleshy edible aril; endosperm fleshy or thick; embryo curved; cotyledon broad and flattened.
About 80 species: Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, New Guinea, Thailand, Vietnam; Pacific islands; two species (one introduced) in China.
(Authors: Li Bingtao (李秉滔 Li Ping-tao); Michael G. Gilbert)