Not a large family, mostly of the northern hemisphere; herbs, shrubs, shrubby vines or trees; leaves opposite, usually without stipules; flowers perfect, regular or irregular; calyx with three to five divisions; corolla usually with five united lobes, sometimes two-lipped; stamens on the corolla tube, usually as many as its lobes and alternate with them; ovary inferior, with one style; fruit a berry, stone-fruit, or capsule.

There are many kinds of Lonicera, shrubs, or twining woody vines; leaves usually without teeth or lobes, the upper ones sometimes united around the stem; flowers usually irregular; calyx with five, minute teeth; corolla more or less funnel-shaped, often two-lipped, four lobes forming the upper lip and one lobe the under, tube often swollen at base; stamens five; style with a cap-like stigma; fruic berry like.