Andromonoecious or sometimes hermaphroditic (occasionally dioecious), armed or unarmed, terrestrial or sometimes epiphytic, mostly decidous shrubs, trees, lianas or herbs with rhizomes. Stems sparsley branched, branched to unbranched, pachycaulous. Leaves alternate, petiolate, the bases mostly stipulate, adnate to clasping; blades 1–4-pinnately compound, the rachis articulated; leaflets usually ovate, oblong, or elliptic, chartaceous to sometimes subcoriaceous or membranaceous, the margins entire to variously toothed, petiolulate or less commonly sessile. Inflorescence terminal or terminal and lateral, usually erect; paniculate, corymbose, or compound umbellate (occasionally simple umbellate), ultimate units umbellules or sometimes capitula or racemules; bracts triangular, lanceolate to semi-rounded; pedicels short to long, or lacking, usually slender, articulated (rarely unarticulated). Calyx lobes 5–10(–12), minutely toothed (rarely forming a low rim); petals 5–10(–12), imbricate (quincuncial), free; stamens 5–10(–12); carpels 5–10(–12), or occasionally aborted to 3, ovaries inferior, styles free to basally or entirely connate; the disc flat or projected. Fruits berry-like drupes, glabrous, globose; endocarp membranous. Endosperm uniform. 2n = 24, 48.