Description from Flora of China
Shrubs or trees. Leaves imparipinnate; leaflets serrate. Bracts ovate, large; flowers polygamous, male flowers and bisexual flowers on same plant but not in same inflorescence, actinomorphic. Sepals 5, oblong, imbricate. Petals 5, broadly obovate, shortly clawed, scale absent. Disk 5-lobed, lobes alternate to petals, apex with a hornlike appendage abaxially. Stamens 8, not exserted; anthers ellipsoid, apex of connectives and base of cells with 1 globose gland. Ovary ellipsoid, 3-loculed; ovules 7 or 8 per locule, in 2 lines; style terminal, erect; stigma papillate. Capsules subglobose or broadly ellipsoid, 3-ridged, loculicidal into 3 schizocarps, 3-loculed; pericarp thick, rigid, containing fiber bundles. Seeds several per locule, compressed-globose, pericarp thickly leathery, arillode absent; hilum semilunar, large; embryo arched, cotyledons one large and one small. 2n = 30.
There is some support based primarily on DNA sequence data to place Xanthoceras as sister to all other members of Sapindaceae s.l. including Aceraceae and Hippocastanaceae (see Harrington et al., Syst. Bot. 30: 366. 2005).
Xanthoceras enkianthiflorum H. Léveillé (Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. 12: 534. 1913, "enkianthiflora"), described from Guizhou, is a synonym of Staphylea holocarpa Hemsley in the Staphyleaceae (see Fl. China 11).
One species: N and NE China, Korea.