This section is from the book "Handbook Of Hardy Trees, Shrubs, And Herbaceous Plants", by W. Botting Hemsley. Also available from Amazon: Handbook of hardy trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants.
Shrubs or small trees, usually covered with resinous glands or dots. Leaves simple, alternate, with or without stipules. Flowers monoecious or dioecious, in simple or compound catkins. Perianth none. Stamens 2 to 16, in the axil of each bract. Ovary surrounded by hypogynous scales. Fruit drupaceous, often clothed with fragrant waxy secretions, 1-celled, 1-seeded; seed erect. A small order limited to one genus by some botanists, and divided into two by others; the species number ing between twenty and thirty.