Trees or shrubs , deciduous; pubescence stellate or sometimes simple. Dormant buds naked or scaly. Leaves alternate, simple, petiolate; stipules early deciduous. Leaf blade unlobed or deeply (3-)5-7-lobed, pinnately or palmately veined. Inflorescences axillary or terminal, capitate or spicate to ± racemose, bracteate. Flowers bisexual or unisexual; perianth epigynous, 1-2-seriate, 4-5-merous, often reduced or absent, hypanthium present; calyx persistent, 4-5(-7)-lobed, or absent; petals distinct or absent; stamens 4-34; anthers basifixed, latrorse, 2-locular, longitudinally dehiscent by simple slit or by 1-2 vertical valves; pistil 1, 2-carpellate; ovary half-inferior, 2-locular; placentation axile; ovules 1(-2) in each locule and apical, or many, anatropous, pendent; styles and stigmas persistent, 2 each, erect or contorted and recurved. Fruits capsular, with leathery exocarp and bony endocarp, loculicidal and 2-seeded or septicidal with most of many seeds per locule aborted; 1-2 viable seeds per locule ( Liquidambar ). Seeds fusiform, bony, lustrous, hilum apical, light colored, or seeds winged, hilum lateral ( Liquidambar ).