Deciduous or evergreeen shrubs or small trees, usually much branched, thorny or unarmed. Leaves mostly alternate, rarely opposite, entire, or crenate, petiolate, stipules small deciduous. Inflorescence of axillary fascicles, umbel or simple or branched racemes. Flowers 4-5 merous, unisexual, or hermaphrodite, small, greenish or yellowish to whitish in colour, sessile or pedunculate. Calyx 4-5 fid, tube urceolate, lobes keeled within. Petals 4-5, inserted at the edge of the disc, absent or rarely cucullate or flat. Disc thin and lining the calyx tube only. Stamens 4-5, filaments very short. Style 2-4-fid or undivided, ovary free, 3-4 celled. Fruit a drupe, fleshy or dry, pyrenes, 2-4 celled, dehescent or indehescent, 1-seeded, oblong or globose.