Trees or shrubs, dioecious, evergreen.
Leaves simple, distichous; petioles slightly pulvinate; stipules asymmetric,
early caducous. Inflorescences axillary clusters of reduced thyrses; bracts 4,
surrounding each flower; pedicels jointed at middle in male flowers, elongating
in female flowers. Male flowers:
sepals 4-5, outer 2 sericeous, innermost petal-like, petals absent, stamens
8-15, with an androphore from which filaments branch alternately, pistillode
pilose, 3-lobed. Female flowers:
sepals as in male, staminodes absent, ovary on short gynophore, 3 (or
4)-locular, densely hirsute or echinate, ovule one in each locule, styles 3,
stigmas divided up to style. Fruits capsular, subglobose, densely echinate with
glochidiate hairs, dehiscing septicidally into 3 (or 4) segments; wall thin
woody. Seeds ovoid, flattened, 1-3 per fruit, black, glossy, covered in upper
third by thin aril.