Description from Flora of China
Trees or shrubs, evergreen or semi-evergreen. Leaves alternate or rarely opposite, stipulate or not, petiolate, simple, pinnately veined. Inflorescence axillary or terminal, racemose, corymbose, paniculate, or sometimes fascicled or solitary flowers. Flowers bisexual or polygamous, 4- or 5-merous, actinomorphic, with or without bracts. Sepals 4 or 5, basally connate or free, usually valvate. Petals 4 or 5, sometimes absent, valvate or imbricate, margin laciniate or rarely entire. Stamens 8 to numerous; filaments free and borne on disks; anthers 2-celled, dehiscent by apical or longitudinal slits, awned or tipped with hairs at apices. Disk circular or glandularly lobed. Ovary superior, 2- to several loculed; placentation axile; ovules 2 to several per locule; style connate or free. Fruit a drupe or capsule. Seeds with copious endosperm; embryo flat.
The two genera in China are of economic value (i.e., medicine, food, and timber).
Chang Hung-ta. 1989. Elaeocarpaceae. In: Chang Hung-ta, ed., Fl. Reipubl. Popularis Sin. 49(1): 1-46.
About 12 genera and ca. 550 species: primarily in tropical to subtropical regions of both hemispheres, excluding Africa; two genera and 53 species (21 endemic) in China.
(Authors: Tang Ya (唐亚); Chamlong Phengklai)