Description from Flora of China
Trees, shrubs, or sometimes shrublets, monopodial or sympodial, usually dioecious, less often monoecious or polygamo- dioecious. Stipules absent. Leaves in spirals, very rarely opposite, usually pinnate; leaflets opposite, subopposite, or alternate; leaflet blades with base somewhat oblique, margin usually entire or rarely lobed or serrate. Flowers usually in axillary thyrses, rarely racemose or spicate. Calyx small, 3-6-lobed or with distinct sepals, usually cup-shaped or tubular, imbricate or valvate in bud. Corolla contorted or imbricate, sometimes quincuncial. Petals (3 or)4 or 5(or 6), rarely more, distinct or connate, sometimes adnate to staminal tube and then valvate. Stamens 3-10 or more, hypogynous, mostly with a staminal tube (distinct stamens in Cedrela and Toona); anthers usually sessile on stamen tube, erect, included or exserted, 2-celled, longitudinally dehiscing. Disk tubular, annular, obsolete, or absent, free or adnate to ovary. Ovary usually free, 2-5(or more)-locular, with 1 to many collateral or superposed ovules per locule; style single or rarely absent; stigma disciform or capitate. Fruit a berry (dry but indehiscent with arillate seeds in some Aglaia sect. Aglaia), capsule, or rarely a drupe. Seeds winged or with a fleshy aril or sarcotesta wholly or partly covering seed; endosperm fleshy or usually absent.
Chen Pangyu. 1997. Meliaceae. In: Chen Shukun, ed., Fl. Reipubl. Popularis Sin. 43(3): 34-104.
About 50 genera and 650 species: tropical, subtropical, and occasionally warm temperate regions of both hemispheres; 17 genera (three introduced) and 40 species (two endemic, three introduced) in China.
(Authors: Peng Hua (彭华); David J. Mabberley, Caroline M. Pannell, Jennifer Edmonds, Bruce Bartholomew)