Description from Flora of China
Trees or shrubs. Stipules small, caducous. Leaf blade entire or serrate-crenate at margin. Inflorescences terminal or lateral, erect or pendulous racemes or spikes; bracts and bracteoles sessile, small, caducous. Receptacle obconic, 4-angled or 4-winged. Calyx of 4 or 5 persistent, imbricate lobes inserted on rim of receptacle, or breaking at anthesis into 2-5 persistent pseudo-lobes, or circumscissile leaving a cup-shaped rim. Petals (3 or)4(or 6), basally adhering to staminal tube. Stamens many in 3-8 whorls, shortly connate, innermost 1-3 whorls shorter and sterile. Ovary 2-4-loculed; ovules 2-8 per locule; style exceeding stamens. Fruit sometimes angled or winged, with fleshy-fibrous exocarp and woody-fibrous endocarp. Seed 1, large; embryo fusiform, with spiral scales toward apex; cotyledons absent, hypocotyl erect, thick.
About 56 species: E Africa to Australia, mainly in Asia; three species (one endemic) in China.