Description from Flora of China
Vines or erect shrubs. Leaf blade ovate, cordate, or rotund, peltate or not, palmately veined. Male inflorescences axillary, corymbose cymes, sometimes borne along a reduced shoot arising from axils of bracteal leaves, pedunculate. Male flowers: sepals 4, obovate, often pubescent adaxially, extended outward when blooming; petals connate into cup-shaped corolla, rarely 2-4-divided almost to base; stamens 4(-10), connate into a peltate synandrium. Female inflorescences thyrsoid, elongate, composed of fascicles; bracts usually accrescent and foliaceous, overlapping. Female flowers: sepal 1; petal 1(-3), opposite to sepal; carpel 1, often pubescent. Drupes subglobose, slightly flattened, often pubescent, style scar near base; endocarp crustaceous or ± bony, horseshoe-shaped, abaxially bearing conical or transverse ridges; condyle usually subglobose. Seed horseshoe-shaped; embryo elongate, terete, embedded in endosperm; cotyledons flattened, shorter than or equal to radicle.
About 20-25 species: pantropical, mostly in Africa and America, few in Asia; one species in China.