Deciduous or evergreen small trees or shrubs, often spiny. Leaves covered with silvery scales. Flowers axillary solitary, or in clusters, bisexual or male and hermaphrodite flowers on the same plant. Perianth campanulate or tubular, tepals 4-6. Stamens as many as the tepals and alternating with them; anthers 2-4-locular. Fruit a drupe-like achene, enclosed within the fleshy hypanthium.