Small trees or shrubs, usually single-stemmed and often with a palm-like habit, polygamous or dioecious. Leaves paripinnate, up to 1 m and longer, with +/- 4-8 pairs of +/- opposite leaflets; stipules absent. Inflorescences spicate racemes arranged in rows or groups on old wood or roots. Flowers slightly irregular with petals crowded to one side and stamens or ovary on opposite side. Calyx +/- urn-shaped, (4)5-lobed, finely, densely tomentose; lobes 1/4-1/2 as long as calyx. Petals 4 or 5(6), unequal, slightly longer than calyx, linear-spathulate, with a short scale and sometimes also a short subulate process above the claw. Disc annular, asymmetrical, lobed. Stamens 6-8(15); filaments filiform, conspicuously hairy; anthers 2-thecous, dorsifixed, linear-oblong. Ovary 3-9-locular and -lobed, with 1 erect ovule per locule; style present, sometimes arched in female flowers; stigma entire to slightly lobed. Fruit a large and fleshy, lobed or ribbed drupe. Seed 1 per locule, without aril.
Species 30 or more, trop. Africa; sthn trop. Afr. +/- 6, Angola (Cabinda).
Glossolepis Gilg; Exell: 87 (1928).