Trees and shrubs, rarely herbs. Leaves simple, opposite, rarely alter¬nate; stipules interpetiolar or reduced to a raised line on the stem, sometimes absent. Flowers bisexual, regular, in terminal or axillary cymes, sometimes paniculate, bracteate. Calyx 4-5-lobed. Petals 4-5, united below into a tube, imbricate or valvate in bud. Stamens 4-5 alternating with the petals. Carpels 2, united; ovary superior or semi-inferior, (1-)2(-4)-locular; placentation axile; style 1-many; ovules 1-many in each locule. Fruit a septicidal capsule or a berry.