Description from Flora of China
Deciduous shrubs or trees, rarely a woody climber, with white latex in phloem, turning black upon air exposure, polygamous or dioecious. Leaves imparipinnately compound, 3-foliolate or simple. Inflorescence axillary, paniculate or racemose, often pendulous at fructification; floral subtending bracts deciduous. Flowers functionally unisexual or bisexual, 5-merous. Ovary 1-locular and 1-ovulate; styles 3, often united basally. Drupe subglobose or oblique, glabrous or minutely pubescent to hirsute, never glandular pubescent; exocarp thin, yellow, dehiscent or indehiscent at maturity; mesocarp white waxy, with brown longitudinal resin ducts.
The hardened resin produced in the phloem of Toxicodendron succedaneum (Japanese lacquer tree) and T. vernicifluum (varnish tree) is used for decoration of traditional handicrafts. The resinous effluvia are poisonous and may cause severe dermatitis in sensitized persons.
About 20 species: disjunctly distributed in E Asia and North America; 16 species (six endemic) in China.