Trees and shrubs. Stipules large (when present) leaving large scars. Leaves alternate, simple, entire. Flowers bisexual, often large and showy. Perianth of usually 3 whorls of free petaloid segments, the outer segments sometimes reduced and sepaloid. Stamens numerous. Carpels few or numerous, spirally arranged. Fruit composed of separate or united follicles (in ours). Seeds with an arillate testa.