Monoecious or more rarely dioecious trees, shrubs, herbs or lianes. Indumentum stellate, lepidote or both. Leaves alternate, sometimes subopposite or whorled, petiolate, usually stipulate, simple, entire, toothed or lobed, penninerved or palminerved, usually with a pair of glands at the base of the blade. Inflorescences terminal, sometimes axillary, racemose or spicate, androgynous, with the ♀ flowers usually below the ♂’s, or unisexual. Bracts small. Male flowers: sepals (4-) 5 (-6), valvate or imbricate, ± equal; petals usually present, (4-) 5 (-6), free, usually equalling or shorter than the sepals; disc glands small, rarely 0; stamens 5-∞, free, on a usually pilose receptacle, the anthers pendulous in bud, later erect, longitudinally dehiscent; pistillode 0. Female flowers: sepals often narrower than in the ♂flowers, persistent, often slightly accrescent, equal or unequal; petals smaller than in the ♂ flowers, vestigial or 0; staminodes sometimes present; disc annular, of separate glands or vestigial; ovary (2-) 3 (-4)-celled, with 1 ovule per cell; styles once or more times bifid or bipartite or laciniate. Fruit schizocarpic or drupaceous; endocarp woody or crustaceous. Seeds carunculate; testa woody or crustaceous; albumen copious, fleshy; embryo straight; cotyledons broad, flat.