Dioecious shrubs or small trees with a simple indumentum. Leaves alternate, shortly petiolate, stipulate, simple, entire, penninerved. Inflorescences axillary, leaf-opposed, terminal or cauliflorous, spicate or subracemose, occasionally paniculate; bracts small, 1-flowered. Male flowers: calyx cupular or 3-5 (-8)-lobed, the lobes imbricate; petals 0; disc-glands free or connate, intrastaminal or extrastaminal; stamens 2-5, rarely more, episepalous, exserted, filaments free, anthers inflexed in bud, apicifixed, connective thick, thecae ± free, basally dehiscent; pistillode often cylindric, small. Female flowers: calyx as in the ♂; petals 0; disc hypogynous, annular or cupular; ovary 1(-2)-celled, with 2 ovules per cell; styles short, bilobed, terminal or lateral. Fruit a small, oblique, compressed drupe; endocarp hardened, reticulate, foveolate. Seed usually solitary by abortion, ecarunculate; albumen fleshy; cotyledons broad, flat.
A predominantly Asiatic genus of 170 species, only 1 of which occurs in Pakistan. Agardh (1825) & Airy Shaw (1966, 1973, etc.) consider Antidesma as constituting a separate family, the Stilaginaceae, linking the Euphorbiaceae with the Icacinaceae.