Description from Flora of China
Shrubs or small trees, monoecious or dioecious, with bitter root cortex and bark. Branches pubescent or puberulent when young. Leaves odd-pinnate; stipules absent; leaflets 3-15; blades ovate or lanceolate, base slightly oblique, margin entire or serrate, apex acuminate. Flowers unisexual, rarely bisexual, in narrow axillary cymose panicles. Sepals 4, small, ovate, oblong-ovate, or deltoid, bases connate, imbricate in bud. Petals 4, small, free, imbricate in bud, oblong-ovate, oblong, or linear. Disk thick, 4-lobed. Stamens 4, only with rudiments in female flowers or fully degenerated; filaments short, inserted between lobes of disk; anthers cordate or ovate. Ovary 4-carpellate; carpels free, ovoid, with 1 ovule; styles free or basally connate. Fruit comprising 1 or more drupelike monocarps (each a druparium), hard, somewhat fleshy. Seeds exalbuminous.
About six species: mainly in Africa, Asia, and N Oceania; two species in China.