This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol2", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Shrubs or trees, with watery sap, and alternate petioled simple often coriaceous leaves. Flowers axillary, small, clustered or solitary, white, mainly polygamo-dioecious, regular. Stipules minute and deciduous, or none. Calyx 3-6 parted, generally persistent. Petals 4-6 (rarely more), separate, or slightly united at the base, hypogynous, deciduous, imbricated. Stamens hypogynous, as many as the petals, or sometimes more; anthers oblong, cordate. Disk none. Ovary 1, superior, 3-several-celled; stigma discoid or capitate; style short or none; ovules 1 or 2 in each cavity of the ovary. Fruit a small berry-like drupe, enclosing several nutlets. Seed pendulous; endosperm fleshy; embryo straight.
Three genera and about 300 species, natives of temperate and tropical regions.
Petals oblong or obovate, slightly united.
Petals linear, distinct.