Description from Flora of China
Trees, shrubs, rarely woody lianas. Leaves simple, alternate, entire, pinnately veined, petiolate, stipulate. Flowers small, unisexual, monoecious, few to many flowers grouped into axile glomerules, pedicellate or sessile. Sepals 5, valvate. Petals 5, scale-shaped. Male flowers: stamens 5; filaments connate at base, forming staminal column, apical free and extended filaments surrounding rudimentary ovary; anthers dorsifixed, introrse, 2-loculed, parallel, longitudinally dehiscent; rudimentary ovary terete or obovate, sometimes conical, 2-4-fid at apex; disk cup-shaped or discoid. Female flowers: disk pulvinate or saucer-shaped lining flower with a conical or urceolate part, surrounding ovary, tearing as ovary expands; ovary 2-loculed; ovules 2 in each cell; styles 2, free or connate at base, bifid or entire at apex. Drupes or rarely capsules with fleshy epicarp, 1- or 2-celled (putamens). Seeds 1 or 2, with longitudinal groove; embryo curved; endosperm copious; cotyledons thin, large. x = 13.
About 60 species: tropical Africa, Asia, and Australia; seven species in China.
(Authors: Li Bingtao (李秉滔 Li Ping-tao); Stefan Dressler)