Usually evergreen perennial trees and shrubs, rarely herbs or climbers; glandular punctate. Leaves simple or compound, sometimes reduced to spines, alternate or opposite, exstipulate. Inflorescence solitary, axillary or terminal cymes, panicles, rarely simple racemes. Flowers bisexual or sometimes staminate. Sepals (3-) 4-5, free or basally united. Petals (3-) 4-5, imbricate. Stamens equal or twice the number of petals or more, filaments free or mono- or poly-adelphous. Ovary 4-5-locular, superior; styles free or united, as many as the carpels. Fruit a capsule, berry, drupe or schizocarp. Placentation axile. Seeds oblong or reniform.