Trees and shrubs, often stellate-hairy. Stipules mostly in pairs. Leaves alternate or opposite, simple. Inflorescences racemose, often dense. Flowers bisexual or unisexual, actinomorphic or rarely zygomorphic. Calyx with 4-5 lobes. Petals 4-5 or more, sometimes 0 in female flowers. Stamens as many as and alternating with the petals. Ovary inferior to almost superior, with 2 carpels. Fruit a woody capsule.