Evergreen trees and shrubs with thin, papery, occasionally scaly or hard and furrowed bark on main trunk and branches. Leaves alternate, rarely opposite or whorled, usually subsessile, entire, flat, concave or semi-cylindrical, coriaceous, with or without glands. Flowers sessile, bisexual or polygamous, solitary in axils of leafy bracts, in heads or cylindrical spikes, the axis usually growing beyond into a leafy shoot. Calyx tube campanulate or urceolate, adnate to the ovary below, limb 4 (-5)-lobed, lobes imbricate, herbaceous or scarious. Corolla of 5, ± orbicular, shortly clawed petals. Stamens numerous, much longer than petals, filaments united below into 5 antipetalous bundles; anthers dorsifixed and versatile. Carpels 3, united into a 3-locular ovary with numerous ovules in each locule; style filiform, with a peltate or capitate stigma. Fruit small, woody, sessile or shortly pedicellate, 3-valved capsule, enclosed in hardened calyx tube, usually remaining on stem.