Description from Flora of China
Trees or erect shrubs, occasionally with spine-tipped branchlets. Leaves alternate, rarely opposite, entire; stipules absent. Flowers actinomorphic, usually unisexual, dioecious, or polygamous, rarely bisexual. Male flowers often in cymes, sometimes in clusters or solitary; pistil rudimentary or absent. Female flowers often solitary, axillary, imperfect or without stamens. Calyx 3--7-lobed, persistent and often becoming enlarged in female or bisexual flowers; lobes abutting or overlapping in bud. Corolla 3--7-lobed; lobes convolute, rarely overlapping or abutting. Stamens hypogynous or at bottom of corolla, 2--4 X as many as corolla lobes, rarely as many as corolla lobes and alternate with them; filaments free or united in pairs. Ovary superior, 2--16-locular; ovules 1 or 2 per locule. Styles 2--8, free or basally united; stigma entire or 2-lobed. Fruit a ± fleshy berry, with few to several seeds. Seeds usually oblong; endosperm sometimes ruminate; hilum small.
Three genera and ca. 500 species: mostly in the tropics; one genus and 60 species (43 endemic) in China.
Li Shu-gang (as Lee Shu-kang). 1987. Ebenaceae. Fl. Reipubl. Popularis Sin. 60(1): 84-154.
(Authors: Li Shu-gang; Michael G. Gilbert, Frank White)