Habit and leaf form. Trees, or shrubs; leptocaul. Leaves alternate; spiral; petiolate; non-sheathing; simple. Leaf blades entire; pinnately veined; cross-venulate. Leaves with stipules. Stem anatomy. Secondary thickening developing from a conventional cambial ring.
Reproductive type, pollination. Fertile flowers hermaphrodite. Unisexual flowers absent. Plants hermaphrodite. Floral nectaries present (forming a lining to the hypanthium).
Inflorescence and flower features. Flowers aggregated in ‘inflorescences’; in panicles. The terminal inflorescence unit racemose. Inflorescences terminal, or axillary; much-branched. Flowers bracteate. Bracts deciduous. Flowers bracteolate. Bracteoles deciduous. Flowers small; very irregular. The floral asymmetry involving the perianth and involving the androecium. Flowers cyclic, or partially acyclic. The androecium acyclic. Free hypanthium present; turbinate to campanulate; slightly swollen at one side, hairy inside and outside. Perianth with distinct calyx and corolla; 10; 2 -whorled; isomerous. Calyx 5; 1 -whorled; gamosepalous; densely hairy (on both sides); imbricate; unequal but not bilabiate; with the median member posterior. Corolla 5; 1 -whorled; polypetalous (inserted at the mouth of the hypanthium tube); imbricate; unequal but not bilabiate. Petals shortly clawed. Androecium 12–18. Androecial members free of the perianth (but inserted with the corolla at the mouth of the hypanthium); markedly unequal; free of one another; unilateral, with the staminodes inserted opposite the stamens. Androecium including staminodes. Staminodes 6–10 (in P. nonda). Stamens 6–8. Anthers dorsifixed (below the midline); versatile; dehiscing via longitudinal slits; introrse. Gynoecium 1–3 carpelled (basically three, but two suppressed and the simulated G1 asymmetrically positioned in the hypanthium). The pistil 1 celled, or 2 celled (ostensibly, by the production of a ‘false septum’). Gynoecium monomerous, or syncarpous; of one carpel, or eu-syncarpous; when monomerous, superior. Carpel with a gynobasic style; 2 ovuled (the one locule is subdivided, to look like two one-ovulate locules). Placentation basal. Ovary unilocular, or plurilocular (ostensibly). Locules secondarily divided by ‘false septa’. Gynoecium stylate. Styles ‘gynobasic’. Stigmas 1; indistinctly 3 - lobed, or 1 - lobed. Ovules ascending; collateral, or over the carpel surface.
Fruit and seed features. Fruit fleshy. The fruiting carpel indehiscent; drupaceous (with bony endocarp). Fruit 1 seeded. Seeds non-endospermic. Embryo well differentiated. Cotyledons 2 (commonly thickened). Seedling. Germination cryptocotylar.