Perennial or annual herbs (in Pakistan), shrubs or rarely trees. Leaves simple, opposite or spirally arranged, entire or toothed; stipules present or absent. Flowers actinomorphic or zygomorphic, hermaphrodite (in Pakistan), solitary or in axils of leaves or in racemes, 2-7-merous. Floral tube present or absent. Sepals 2-7, valvate. Petals 0-7, free. Stamens as many as or twice as many as the sepals. Anthers versatile or basifixed; pollen shed singly or in tetrads, almost always united by viscin threads. Ovary inferior, 1-5-locular; style single; stigma lobed, clavate or globose. Fruit a capsule, berry or nut, loculicidal or indehiscent. Seeds anatropous, lacking endosperm, smooth or variously papillose, with a coma or wings or lacking both.