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.