Trees, shrubs or rarely woody climbers, often aromatic; indumentum (if present) of simple or stellate hairs or scaly. Leaves alternate, mostly distichous, thin to coriaceous, entire, exstipulate, often with a glaucous sheen. Flowers usually on the young leafy shoots or on the old wood, rarely on underground suckers; terminal or axillary or extra-axillary; bisexual, rarely unisexual, regular; solitary, paired, cymose or fasciculate, sessile or stalked; mosly bracteate and bracteolate. Sepals 2-3, valvate, rarely imbricate, free or ± united, rarely accrescent. Petals 3-6-(-12), often fleshy, usually in two equal or unequal whorls, rarely in one whorl of 6, 4, or 3, valvate or imbricate, rarely open in bud; free or ± united at base, rarely absent. Stamens usually numerous, spirally (often compactly) arranged on the flat, convex or conical receptacle, rarely 6-12 and whorled; sometimes outer stamens petaloid; anther linear to rounded, dehiscence extrorse or lateral, rarely apical or introrse; connective usually broad and produced beyond the anther-locules, apex truncate, oblique, capitate, convex, conical or acute; filaments usually short and free, rarely elongate and united in a cone over the carpels. Carpels 1-numerous, free or basally united, or completely united to form a unilocular ovary with parietal placentation; ovules 1-numerous, styles short, thick, free, or rarely connate, stigma capitate or oblong. Fruit consisting of 1-several fleshy or woody, stipitate or sessile monocarps, mosly indehiscent; or fused to form aggregate fruit; or 1-locular and numerous seeded. Seeds vertical to horizontal, sometimes arillate, endosperm abundant, ruminate; embryo minute.