Suberect or twining dioecious shrubs. Leaves simple, cordate or reniform, peltate, emarginate. Flowers in axillary racemes or cymose clusters. Male flowers: cymose, sepals 4(-5), obovate; petals 4, connate, forming a cup, or sometimes incompletely connate; anthers 4, connate on a staminal column or disc, dehiscing transversely. Female flowers: cymules 3-9-flowered, axillary or in false racemes arising in the axils of leaves or accrescent bracts; sepals 1, rarely more; petals 1, rarely 2 or 3, adnate to the bracts; staminodes 0; carpel 1; style 1, short, trifid. Fruit a subglobose drupe with hairy or glabrous exocarp, a fleshy and thin mesocarp, and a dorsally compressed, tubercled and transversely ribbed endocarp. Seeds curved, albumen ruminate.