This section is from the book "Handbook Of Hardy Trees, Shrubs, And Herbaceous Plants", by W. Botting Hemsley. Also available from Amazon: Handbook of hardy trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants.
A small order of trees and shrubs with alternate simple ex-stipulate leaves and white, pink, or red flowers. Peduncles 1-flowered, axillary or terminal. Sepals 5 or 7, imbricated, coriaceous and deciduous. Petals 5 to 9, often cohering at the base. Stamens numerous, hypogynous; sometimes monadel-phous. Stigmas on a long style. Capsule 2- to 7-celled, few-seeded. Seeds large, albumen none or thin. Chiefly from the tropics; a few in China and Japan and North America.