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Shrubs or trees, climbing, monoecious. Leaves simple, alternate, symmetric, penninerved, lateral nerves close; petioles short; stipules deciduous. Inflorescences axillary, glomerulate, arising along main leafy branches; bracts up to 1 mm long. Male flowers: sessile or shortly pedicellate; sepals 5, shortly connate base; petals 5, free, thin, disc disciform, thick, stamens 5, filaments connate below into a column, free and spreading above; pistillode at  apex of column. Female flowers: sessile or shortly pedicellate; calyx, petals and outer disc as in male, inner disc conical-tubular, enclosing ovary, ovary 12-locular, each biovulate; styles 2, free or shortly connate base, bifid above. Fruits drupaceous, globose 1-2-locular, shallowly bilobed. Seeds 1-2 per fruit, smooth.

Key to the species

Serial Key Reference
1a. Flowers 6-12 mm in diameter B. stipularis
1b. Flowers up to 5.5 mm in diameter 2
2a. Lateral nerves of leaves terminating directly at the margins 3
2b. Lateral nerves of leaves not terminating directly at the margins B. glauca
3a. Fruits with 3-4 mm long pedicels; inflorescences mostly borne on terminal and leafless branches (up to 35 cm long) B. retusa
3b. Fruits sessile to subsessile; inflorescences borne on main leafy branches 4
4a. Fruits 1-locular 5
4b. Fruits 2-locular B. tomentosa
5a. Fruits globose 6
5b. Fruits ovoid-oblong B. ferruginea
6a. Branchlets glabrous; leaves glabrous, glaucous beneath; bracts characteristically brown to orange brown when dry and almost hyaline B. verrucosa
6b. Branchlets tomentellous; leaves pilose on nerves beneath, not glaucous; bracts not as above B. assamica