Evergreen trees, shrubs or mallees with smooth, fibrous, stringy or tessellated persistent or deciduous bark of different colours. Leaves mostly heterophyllous, i.e., seedling, juvenile, intermediate and adult phases; juvenile ones mostly opposite; mature leaves usually petiolate, mostly alternate, linear, or lanceolate to ovate, glabrous, hanging, rarely erect, with a distinct midrib, penninverved or parallel veined. Inflorescence mostly umbellate, condensed, pedunculate, solitary or paired dichasial cymes in leaf axils or in terminal occasionally corymbose panicles. Flowers sessile or pedicellate, 3 – 11 in each umbel; buds variable in shape and size. Calyx and corolla independently or together connate to form an operculum or calyptra (lid) shedding circumscissily at anthesis. Stamens numerous; free, variously inflexed or folded in the bud, sometimes almost straight, all fertile or outer antherless, anthers variable in shape, size and mode of attachment to filament, dehiscing by latrorse or introrse slits or by confluent slits or by terminal pores, connective mostly gland-tipped on back or at the tips. Ovary inferior or semi-inferior, sunk into the calyx tube and hypanthuim, 2 – 7-loculed, multiovulate, ovules generally on axile placenta; style slender, with small stigma. Fruit a capsule sunk in woody hypanthium, loculicidal, rarely circumscissile with scars of operculum or persistent disc at the rim, valves exserted, level with rim or bent inwards (included). Seeds numerous, of various shapes and colours.