Description from Flora of China
Trees, shrubs, subshrubs, or herbs. Stems with laticifers, latex clear, white, or reddish; indumentum simple, sometimes glandular. Stipules persistent or deciduous, entire or setiform, or a series of stalked glands. Leaves alternate, unlobed or palmately lobed or parted, usually with glands at apex of petiole; venation palmate [or pinnate]. Flowers monoecious or dioecious in paniculate dichasia. Male flowers: sepals 5, imbricate, slightly connate at base; petals 5, imbricate, free, sometimes coherent or connate at base; disk glands 5, free or connate into ring; stamens 8-12, sometimes more, in 2-6 series; filaments at least partly connate, sometimes inner filaments connate into a column; pistillode filamentous or absent. Female flowers: sepals 5(or 6), free, imbricate, usually persistent in fruits; disk annular, lobed, or dissected, sometimes with staminodes; ovary 2- or 3(or 4 or 5)-locular; ovules 1 per locule; styles unlobed or bifid, sometimes dilated. Fruits capsular. Seeds carunculate; episperm crustaceous; endosperm fleshy; cotyledon broad and flat.
About 175 species: most in the tropics and subtropics of America, ca. 70 species in Africa, widely introduced elsewhere; three species (introduced) in China.
(Authors: Li Bingtao (李秉滔 Li Ping-tao); Michael G. Gilbert)