Description from Flora of China
Shrubs or trees, evergreen, without stinging hairs. Leaves alternate; stipules caducous, lateral, free; leaf blade pinnately veined or 3-veined, margin serrate, denticulate, or entire; cystoliths punctiform. Inflorescences axillary, small, pedunculate, densely capitate clusters of unisexual flowers (plants dioecious); solitary glomerules or pairs of dichotomously branched cymes; bracts small. Male flowers: perianth lobes 3 or 4, valvate; stamens 3 or 4; filaments inflexed in bud; rudimentary ovary obovate-clavate, woolly. Female flowers: perianth tube adnate to ovary, mouth contracted, apex 3- or 4-toothed; staminodes absent; stigma sessile, discoid or peltate, long ciliate hairs along margin; ovule orthotropous. Achene drupaceous, straight, adnate to thinly fleshy perianth, enclosed as base or almost wholly by discoid or cuplike fleshy receptacle. Seeds with endosperm; cotyledons ovate or broad.
The fibers are used to make ropes, nets, and coarse cloth.
About 18 species: tropical and subtropical E Asia and New Guinea; ten species (one endemic) in China.
(Authors: Chen Jiarui (陈家瑞 Chen Chia-jui); Ib Friis, C. Melanie Wilmot-Dear)