Description from Flora of China
Trees, shrubs, or lianas, occasionally with tendrils. Leaves alternate, rarely opposite, estipulate, veins mostly pinnate, sometimes palmate, margin usually entire, rarely lobed or denticulate. Inflorescences spikes, racemes, panicles, or cymes, axillary or terminal, rarely opposite leaves, with small bracts or not. Flowers regular, bisexual, sometimes polygamous or unisexual, (3 or)4- or 5(or 6)-merous. Calyx generally articulate to pedicel, usually persistent, small; lobes imbricate, rarely valvate. Petals present, rarely absent, free or connate at base, imbricate, rarely valvate, apices mostly inflexed or incurved. Stamens as many as petals; filaments free or on corolla tube, alternate with corolla lobes, often pilose at apex; anthers 2-celled, introrse. Disk rarely developed, cupular or divided. Ovary superior, 2-carpellate, coherent, 1-loculed, rarely 3-5-loculed; ovules 2, rarely 1 per locule, pendulous from apex, anatropous with abaxial raphe and micropyle facing upward; funicle usually thickened above micropyle; style rarely developed, simple; stigmas 2(or 3-5), or coherent to capitate or peltate. Fruit 1-loculed, 1-seeded, rarely 2-seeded, usually a drupe, rarely samaroid. Seeds pendulous, with a thin testa; endosperm usually present, embryo small, straight or curved; cotyledons usually ovate.
Chuang Hsuan. 1981. Icacinaceae (excluding Peripterygium). In: Fang Wen-pei, ed., Fl. Reipubl. Popularis Sin. 46: 37-65.
The Icacinaceae were treated in a broad sense in FRPS, i.e., including Cardiopteris (Peripterygium), which is here recognized as a distinct monogeneric family.
About 57 genera and 400 species: mainly in tropical or subtropical regions, especially in the S Hemisphere; 12 genera and 24 species (eight endemic) in China.
(Authors: Peng Hua (彭华); Richard A. Howard)