Four species of deciduous trees, often with corky bark on young branches and a fragrant resin. Leaves alternate, simple, long, slender stalked, palmately lobed, 3-7 lobes, margin serrate, glossy green. Flowers unisexual, male flowers lacking a calyx or corolla, female flowers with a fused calyx, also lacking a corolla, ovaries of individual flowers fused. Fruit composed of many capsules fused in a globose head.
Liquidambar: from the Latin liquidus, liquid, and ambar, amber, a reference to its fragrant resin.