A large family, chiefly of the tropics, climbing or trailing, herbaceous vines, usually with tendrils, rather juicy, with no stipules; leaves alternate, with leaf-stalks, usually lobed or cut; flowers some staminate and some pistillate; calyx bell-shaped or tubular, usually five-lobed; petals mostly united, usually five, on the calyx; stamens generally three, with short filaments, often united; ovary inferior; fruit fleshy, often with a hard rind, usually with flat seeds.

There are many kinds of Micrampelis, natives of America.