Perennial herbs with woody, occasionally tuberous rhizomes. Stems erect or plants nearly stemless, suffruticose. Indumentum of simple or stipitate glandular capitate trichomes. Leaves cauline or all nearly basal, alternate, stipulate; leaf blade 1-3-pinnatisect. Flowers bisexual, 5-merous, actinomorphic, 2-bracteolate in paniculate, spicate, or pseudocapitate inflorescences. Sepals free, persistent, occasionally accrescent in fruit. Petals free, alternating with 5 extrastaminal nectary glands, yellow to reddish yellow, rarely white, often denticulate at apex. Stamens 10; filaments connate at base; anthers tetrasporangiate, introrse. Gynoecium of 5 carpels; ovary superior, deeply lobed with 5 free gynobasic stylodia connected above into a capitate stigma; ovules pendulous, anacampylotropous, unitegmic, crassinucellate. Fruit a schizocarp, consisting of 5 indehiscent 1-seeded dry mericarps. Seeds large with rounded raphe; embryo slightly curved, with scanty endosperm.
One genus and four species: montane, semiarid, or occasionally forested regions from Greece to central China; two species (one endemic) in China.
Biebersteinia had traditionally been placed in the Geraniaceae, but there is now ample, mainly molecular, evidence that it comprises a separate family in the Sapindales. Muellner et al. (Pl. Syst. Evol. 266: 233-252. 2007) also traced the ancestral origin of this family to China.
Xu Langran & Huang Chengchiu. 1998. Biebersteinia. In: Xu Langran & Huang Chengchiu, eds., Fl. Reipubl. Popularis Sin. 43(1): 86-89.