Evergreen trees or shrubs. Leaves spirally arranged, entire. Panicles usually sub-terminal, initially enclosed by the large perulate terminal bud, developing with the young flush; the bud scales leaving a collar of narrow scars. Flowers bisexual, 3-merous. Tepals 6 in 2 whorls, the outer ones usually shorter, deciduous in fruit or persistent, reflexed, but not hardened or enlarged; perianth tube very shallow. Fertile stamens usually 9 with long slender filaments; anthers 4-celled, of whorls 1 and 2, introrse; of whorl 3, extrorse and with basal glands; of whorl 4, staminodial; staminodes hastate on long slender filaments. Style long, slender. Fruit a fleshy berry, seated on a naked pedicel or the unaltered, reflexed tepals, persistent.