Trees or shrubs. Stipules 0 or caducous. Leaves simple, alternate or clustered at branch apices. Flowers actinomorphic or zygomorphic, solitary or in spikes, clusters or racemes. Sepals usually 4-6. Petals usually 4-6, ± free. Stamens many in several whorls, often arranged on one side of the flower. Ovary inferior, 2-6-locular. Fruit a berry or woody capsule, indehiscent or dehiscent by a lid (circumscissile).