Trees , deciduous. Bark red-brown, aromatic, thick, furrowed on old trunks. Leaves alternate, aromatic. Leaf blade pinnately veined, lobed or unlobed, basal veins more strongly developed than distal ones, papery; surfaces abaxially glaucous, glabrous or slightly pubescent; domatia absent. Inflorescences appearing before or with young leaves, situated in axils of bracts surrounding terminal buds, racemes or racemose panicles, flowers subtended by 1 linear bract. Flowers unisexual, staminate and pistillate on different plants; tepals deciduous, yellowish, equal, pubescent. Staminate flowers: stamens 9, anthers 4-locular, 4-valved, introrse. Pistillate flowers: staminodes absent or present; ovary ovoid. Drupe blue, ovoid, seated in shallow, single-rimmed cupule.
Dioecious; tep 6, persistent; stamens 9, the 3 inner each with a pair of stalked glands at the base; anthers introrse, 4-locular; pistillate fls with 6 short staminodia; pedicels apically expanded at maturity, forming, together with the persistent, accrescent perianth, a cup-like base below the fr; deciduous trees or shrubs. 2, the other Chinese.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.