Monoecious or occasionally dioecious shrubs or small trees with a simple indumentum, or glabrous. Leaves alternate, petiolate, minutely stipulate or stipules absent, simple, entire or 3-lobed, occasionally the lamina contorted or interrupted along the midrib, penninerved, eglandular or +/- so. Inflorescence s axillary or subterminal, racemose, solitary or paired, usually unisexual, pedunculate; male bracts 1-6-flowered; female bracts l-flowered. Male flowers : pedicels slender, jointed; sepals (3)5(6), closely imbricate; petals (3)5(6), small, minute or 0; disc glands 5-15, free, alternipetalous; stamens 15-100, filaments free, anthers erect, extrorse, dorsifixed, connective broad, thecae apically confluent, longitudinally dehiscent; pistillode absent. Female flowers : pedicels shorter and stouter than in the male, not jointed; sepals smaller than in the male, otherwise +/- similar; petals absent; disc shallowly cupular, subentire or shallowly 5-lobed; ovary 3-locular, 1 ovule per locule; styles 3, shortly connate at the base, spreading or recurved, usually simple. Fruit globose or 3-lobed, dehiscing septicidally into 3 bivalved cocci; pericarp thin; endocarp thinly woody; columella persistent. Seed s ovoid to subglobose, carunculate; testa smooth, shiny, marmorate, crustaceous; albumen fleshy; cotyledons broad, flat.
Species 16, ranging from Malaysia to N Australia and Polynesia; *Codiaeum variegatum (L.) A.Juss. is widely cultivated in the tropics, often becoming naturalised.