Deciduous or evergreen, erect or sometimes scandent or scrambling shrubs, armed or unarmed, with opposite branches. Leaves opposite or subopposite, serrate or entire, penninerved or with lateral nerves; stipules deciduous, minute. Inflorescence a terminal spike or panicle. Flowers small, sessile or pedicellate. Calyx 5-fid, tube somewhat rounded or urceolate, lobes ovate, acute, keeled inside. Petals 5, cucullate. Disc cupular, 5-lobed, lining the calyx tube. Ovary superior embeded in the disc but not fused with it, 2-3 loculed. Style short, 2-3 grooved with capitate or obtuse stigma. Fruit globose or oblong, coriaceous indehiscent with 2-3 pyrenes. Seeds smooth, oblong with stoney albumen.