Trees or shrubs, often polygamo-dioecious or monoecious and with an acrid or milky juice. Leaves usually alternate, exstipulate, simple or compound. Flowers paniculate or in racemes, uni- or bisexual, regular. Calyx 3-5-partite. Petals 3-5, free, alternating with the calyx lobes, sometimes absent (Pistacia)
. Disk present. Stamens as many as the petals or more; anthers basi- or dorsifixed. Ovary of 1-5, free or united carpels. Ovary with a single pendulous fertile ovule (Spondias)
in each loculus, or with only one loculus with a fertile ovule (Rhus)
. Fruit a drupe, dry or succulent.