Description from Flora of China
Evergreen trees, with tawny or red juice in bark or around heart wood. Leaves simple, alternate, entire, exstipulate, with pinnate veins, often pellucid punctate, spirally or distichously arranged. Inflorescences axillary, paniculate, racemose, capitate, or cymose; flowers fascicled, in various racemose arrangements or clusters; bracts caducous; bracteoles inserted on pedicels or at base of perianth. Plants monoecious or dioecious. Flowers small, unisexual. Perianth gamophyllous; lobes (2 or)3-5, valvate. Stamens 2-40 (often 16-18 in China); filaments connate into a column (staminal column) or peltate disk (staminal disk), apex with anthers connivent or connate into disciform, globose, or elongate synandrium; anthers 2-locular, extrorse, dehiscing longitudinally, adnate to column abaxially, or free. Ovary superior, sessile, 1-locular, anatropous ovule 1, inserted near base; style short or lacking; stigma 2-lobed or lobes connate into a disk, with 2 fissures or with lacerate margin. Fruit with pericarp leathery-fleshy, or near woody, dehiscent into 2 valves. Seed 1, large, arillate; aril fleshy, entire or shallowly or deeply lacerate; testa of 3 or 4 layers, outer layer crustose, middle layer often woody and rather thick, inner layer membranous; endosperm often with volatile oil, ruminate or wrinkled, containing fat (mainly 14C fatty acid) and little amylum; embryo near base. Pollen often with slender reticulate pattern. x = 9, 21, 25.
Li Yan-hui. 1979. Myristicaceae. In: Tsiang Ying & Li Ping-t’ao, eds., Fl. Reipubl. Popularis Sin. 30(2): 176-205.
About 20 genera and ca. 500 species: tropical Asia to Pacific islands, also in Africa and tropical America; three genera and 11 species (one introduced) in China.
(Authors: Li Bingtao (李秉滔 Li Ping-tao); Thomas K. Wilson)