Gnetaceae, as a sole lianas (rare shrubs or arbors) in gymnosperms, plays an important roles in the studies of theoretics and applications. There is only one genus, and about 40 species in the world and 9 species in China, which distributed in the tropical and subtropical areas of Asia, Africa and South America. On the aspects of theoretical research, it is still disputed for the evolution between gymnosperms and angiosperms although a large amounts of studies have been carried out on the morphology and anatomy, chemical constituents and molecular biology. On the aspects of applicable research, the constituents of biological activities, stilbene or its derivatives, alkaloid and flavone, et al., are greatly abundant in this family. Moreover, some species have been Chinese traditional medicines in history. However, exploiture and utilization have been blocked due to its weakness on the studies of introduction, domestication and cultivation. Consequently, this article reviews that the progress on its distribution of species, the research values of theoretical and applicable research, exploiture and utilization, which will provide an basis for the further study of Gnetaceae in future.