Description from Flora of China
Trees or shrubs, evergreen. Leaves alternate, petiolate; stipules apparently absent; leaf blade ovate or lanceolate, leathery, margin entire, venation pinnate, sometimes with 3 basal veins, abaxially usually glaucous. Inflorescence capitate, axillary, pedunculate, usually nodding, 5–8-flowered; involucral bracts 5–many, imbricate, ovate-rounded, outer bracts usually much smaller than inner bracts. Flowers bisexual, zygomorphic. Floral cup very short, enclosing base of ovary. Sepals absent or rudimentary, number not distinguishable. Petals 2–5, well developed only on abaxial side of flower, red, spatulate or oblanceolate, clawed, straight in bud, head as whole rayed and flowerlike. Stamens 4–11, equal to or somewhat shorter than petals; filaments linear; anther thecae 2-sporangiate, each dehiscing by 2 valves; nectariferous disk scales present. Ovary semi-inferior; ovules 12–18 per locule, inserted on septum; styles long, very slender, nearly equal to stamens, apex acute, caducous or persistent in fruit. Capsules dehiscing loculicidally above middle by 4 valves; pericarp thin. Seeds flattened, mostly sterile and wingless, fertile seeds laterally narrowly winged; endosperm rather copious; cotyledons ovate, flat, fleshy; radicle cylindric, ca. 1/3 as long as cotyledons. 2n = 24.
Vink (Flora Malesiana, ser. 1, 5: 371–374. 1957) regarded Rhodoleia as monospecific.
About ten species: China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Vietnam; six species (three endemic) in China.