Shrubs or small trees, deciduous. Bark grayish, becoming darker with age. Leaves alternate, aromatic when crushed (at least when young). Leaf blade pinnately veined, membranous to nearly leathery; surfaces glabrous to densely pubescent; domatia absent. Inflorescences appearing before leaves, axillary, clusters (pseudoumbels), clusters subsessile, nearly umbellate, each subtended by 2 pairs of decussate bracts. Flowers unisexual, staminate and pistillate on different plants, a few bisexual flowers on some plants; tepals deciduous, yellow, pellucid-dotted, equal, glabrous. Staminate flowers: stamens 9; anthers 2-locular, 2-valved, introrse. Pistillate flowers: staminodes variously developed; ovary globose. Drupe bright red, ellipsoid to nearly globose, borne on pedicel, with or without persistent tepals at base. x = 12.
North America, e Asia.
Species ca. 100 (3 in the flora).
|1||Leaf blade somewhat leathery, larger blades usually less than 8 × 4 cm, young leaves faintly aromatic when crushed, becoming essentially odorless with age.||Lindera subcoriacea|
|1||Leaf blade membranous, larger blades usually more than 8 × 4 cm, crushed leaves strongly aromatic throughout growing season.||> 2|
|2||Leaves horizontal to mostly ascending; blade obovate, base cuneate, apex acuminate on larger leaves; fruiting pedicels of previous season not persistent on stem, not conspicously enlarged at apex; shrubs or small trees.||Lindera benzoin|
|2||Leaves drooping; blade elliptic to ovate, base rounded to widely cuneate, apex acute; fruiting pedicels of previous season persistent on stem, enlarged at apex; low shrubs rarely over 1.5 m.||Lindera melissifolia|