Description from Flora of China
Trees or shrubs, usually stellate pubescent or scaly, rarely glabrous. Leaves usually alternate, simple; stipules absent or very minute. Inflorescences terminal or axillary, racemes, panicles, or cymes, rarely 1-flowered or several flowers in a fascicle; bracteoles minute or absent. Flowers bisexual, rarely polygamous dioecious, actinomorphic. Calyx campanulate, obconical, or cup-shaped; tube completely or partially adnate to ovary; teeth or lobes 4 or 5(or 6), sometimes very small or obsolete. Corolla mostly white, gamopetalous; lobes (4 or)5(--7), basally ± connate, rarely free, imbricate or valvate, rarely slightly induplicate. Stamens twice, sometimes equal in number to corolla lobes, inserted at base of corolla; filaments mostly flattened, basally partially or completely connate into a tube; anthers introrse, 2-locular, locules parallel and opening by longitudinal slits. Ovary superior, half inferior, or inferior, 3--5-locular or apically 1-locular and basally 3--5-locular; ovules few or solitary in each locule, erect, pendulous, or anatropous, integument 1 or 2, placentation axile or parietal. Style slender, linear or subulate; stigma truncate, capitate or 2--5-lobed. Fruit a berry, drupe, or capsule, exocarp fleshy to dry. Seeds sometimes winged, often with a broad hilum; embryo straight or slightly curved; endosperm copious; cotyledons flattened or subterete.
Eleven genera and ca. 180 species: tropical and temperate America, Asia, and Mediterranean; 10 genera (two endemic) and 54 species (32 endemic) in China.
Hwang Shu-mei in Wu Rong-fen (as Wu Young-fen) & Hwang Shu-mei, eds. 1987. Styracaceae. Fl. Reipubl. Popularis Sin. 60(2): 77-150.
(Authors: Hwang Shu-mei; James Grimes)