Dioecious or rarely monoecious, unarmed or spinescent trees or shrubs, devoid of indumentum. Leaves alternate, shortly petiolate, stipulate, simple, entire, penninerved. Flowers axillary, usually in the proximal axils of the leafy branches, the males numerous, fasciculate, the females few or occasionally solitary. Male flowers: pedicels capillary; sepals 5, unequal, imbricate; petals 0; disc glands 5, interstaminal, alternating with the sepals; stamens 5, filaments free, anthers extrorse, longitudinally dehiscent; pistillode large, deeply 2-3-partite, the lobes often appendiculate or themselves bilobate. Female flowers: pedicels and sepals as in the ♂ flowers; petals 0; disc flat, annular, entire or shallowly 5-6-lobed; ovary smooth, 2-3-celled, with 2 ovules per cell; styles 2-3; connate at the base, recurved or spreading, bifid or bilobate. Fruit globose, slightly or scarcely fleshy, loculicidally dehiscent or rupturing irregularly; endocarp crustaceous, 3-celled or rarely 2 or 1-celled by abortion. Seeds 2 per cell, segmentiform, trigonous, smooth, ecarunculate; testa. thick, crustaceous; albumen scanty; embryo incurved; cotyledons ovate, elliptic or obovate, flat.