Description from Flora of China
Shrubs, becoming lianous at maturity, or lianas. Leaves alternate, distichous, or pseudoverticillate. Inflorescences racemose, paniculate, umbellate or corymbose, bracteate at base. Pedicel subtended by one persistent floral bract. Flowers 4- or 5-merous, bisexual or functionally unisexual and plants dioecious, polygamous, or monoecious. Sepals united at base. Petals free or united at base, glandular granulose inside and often along margin. Stamens adnate to base of petals, rarely free, normally exserted in staminate flowers, reduced in pistillate ones; filaments free; anthers dehiscing longitudinally, connectives usually punctate abaxially. Pistillode reduced and style included in staminate flowers; ovary globose or ovoid; ovules ca. 4, uniseriate. Style exserted; stigma discoid or capitate, sometimes slightly lobed. Fruit drupes, prominently punctate, 1-seeded; endocarp crusty or rarely bony. Seeds subglobose, covered by membranous remnants of placenta; endosperm ruminate; embryo terete, transverse.
About 140 species: Africa, SE Asia, Australia, Pacific Islands; 14 species in China.