Large shrubs or small trees with sharply 4-angled twigs. Leaves simple, opposite, more than 5 cm long, with prominent intramarginal vein. Flowers white, bisexual, 3 – 4 cm across, axillary, solitary or in a 3-flowered dichasial cyme. Sepals completely united in bud forming urceolate or pyriform tube adnate to the ovary, splitting irregularly at anthesis into 4 – 5-lobed limb. Petals 4 – 5, free, often showy, patent. Stamens numerous, multiseriate, free. Ovary (2 -) 4 – 5 (-7)-loculed, ovules numerous in each locule; style solitary; stigma capitate or peltate. Fruit a globose, ovoid or pyriform, many-seeded, usually fleshy berry with persistent or deciduous calyx lobes. Seeds hippocrepiform or reniform with bony testa and uncinate or curved embryo.